What Is Zerit?
) is a prescription AIDS
medication. It is approved only to be combined with other medications for the treatment of HIV. It is not approved to be used alone.
Who Makes It?
Zerit is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
How Does Zerit Work?
Zerit is part of a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTI medications work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that is responsible for AIDS. Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is different than other viruses because it must first convert its genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV to multiply.
HIV converts its genetic material into DNA by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building blocks.
Zerit works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, Zerit actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Zerit is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Although it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.