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What Is Abacavir Used For?

Abacavir uses include the treatment of HIV and AIDS. On occasion, a healthcare provider may also prescribe abacavir "off-label" to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the HIV virus (such as those who have been stuck by a contaminated needle). Abacavir has been approved for adults and children as young as three months old. Although abacavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, it can help prevent the HIV virus from multiplying.

Abacavir Uses: An Overview

Abacavir sulfate (Ziagen®) is a prescription medication used to treat HIV and AIDS. It is part of a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
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). Initially, an HIV infection does not typically 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.
Abacavir 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 different HIV medications (technically known as highly active anti-retroviral therapy, or HAART). Using combinations of medications helps to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to one or more of the drugs.

Abacavir Sulfate for HIV/AIDS

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