For HIV, though, real therapy began only 18 years ago with the introduction of a class of drugs, the protease inhibitors.
protease inhibitor n. An anti-HIV drug that blocks the action of the enzyme protease, which is needed for viral replication.
A class of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of AIDS. It works by blocking the action of a protein that HIV needs to reproduce itself.
Note: Protease inhibitors are an example of designer drugs. They sometimes allow AIDS to be managed for long periods of time.