AIDS Home > Zerit Uses
Zerit uses include treating the HIV virus and AIDS in adults and children. The medication is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, but can keep the HIV virus from multiplying and infecting uninfected cells. Occasionally, a healthcare provider may prescribe Zerit off-label to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the virus (such as a healthcare worker who gets stuck with a contaminated needle).
What Is Zerit Used For?Zerit® (stavudine) is a prescription medicine used to treat AIDS and HIV infection. Zerit belongs to a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (also known as NRTIs).
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (commonly known as 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). Initially, the HIV infection does not usually cause any obvious symptoms (see HIV Symptoms). 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. HIV 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.
Zerit is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. In fact, there is currently no known cure for HIV or AIDS. Also, Zerit is not intended to be used alone. Instead, it is used as part of an HIV "cocktail." These cocktails usually consist of three or four (or sometimes even five) different HIV medications (technically known as Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, or HAART). Using a combination of medications helps to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to one or more of the drugs.