AIDS Home > Reyataz Uses
Reyataz is used for treating HIV and AIDS. It can help stop the HIV virus from multiplying and spreading to uninfected cells in the body. People who have taken HIV medications in the past should take Reyataz in combination with ritonavir (another HIV drug). Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label Reyataz uses for the prevention of postexposure prophylaxis.
Reyataz® (atazanavir sulfate) is a prescription medication approved to treat HIV and AIDS. It is part of a class of medications known as protease inhibitors.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was initially reported in the United States in 1981. Since then, it has become a significant worldwide epidemic. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At first, an HIV infection usually does not cause any obvious symptoms (see HIV Symptoms), and most people have no idea that they have been infected with the virus, unless they happen to be tested for it. However, by killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV will eventually begin to progressively destroy the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers (see AIDS Symptoms).
HIV is commonly spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Transmission also happens through contact with infected blood, which frequently occurs among IV drug users (who share needles or syringes contaminated with blood from someone infected with the virus). Women with HIV can transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
Reyataz is almost always used as part of an HIV "cocktail." These cocktails usually consist of three or four (or sometimes five) different HIV medications (technically known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART). Using combinations of medications helps to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to one or more of the drugs. People who have taken HIV medications in the past (especially if the medications did not work well) should take ritonavir (Norvir®) in combination with Reyataz. Ritonavir increases the level of Reyataz in the blood, usually making it more effective.