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Indinavir is used for treating HIV and AIDS. It is almost always used in combination with other medications as part of an HIV "cocktail." There are currently no indinavir uses approved for children. Occasionally, the drug can be used off-label to help prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick).
Indinavir sulfate (Crixivan®) is a prescription medication approved to treat HIV and AIDS. It is part of a group of medications known as protease inhibitors.
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). 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.
Indinavir is almost always 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.