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Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) refers to the use of multiple drugs to combat the symptoms of HIV. There are five classes of drugs that are currently in use. These drugs target different viral infections. They also help maintain an infected person's immune system. HAART is also sometimes called anti-retroviral therapy (ART) or combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy is an aggressive HIV therapy. One's tolerance to the drugs must be considered first before starting the treatment. The drugs used in HAART come with major side effects, such that around 22% of those who start treatment stop or switch. It is also important to adhere to medication schedules. Missing dosages can make a person resistant to these drugs. Cost is also a factor. The medical regimen is still on-patent and can cost a person up to $28,500 per year.