STD Home > What Is Etravirine Used For?
Etravirine is a drug that is used for treating HIV and AIDS. Although the medicine is not a cure, it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of etravirine, such as for preventing HIV infection in people exposed to the virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick).
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (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 HIV (unless they happen to be tested for HIV). 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.
Etravirine 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 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.