The diagnosis and prognosis of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection has been revolutionized through advances and development in the field of nanotechnology. Since its onset in the early 1980s, HIV has gradually attained ‘pandemic’ status and increased the need for efficacy in the rapid identification and treatment of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Despite the triple-drug therapy initiated by the next decade in the 1990s, the number of affected individuals increased to 2.8 million, and developing countries faced this crisis on multiple fronts. Today, a range of antiretroviral drugs are available with reduced toxicities and improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, along with improvement in diagnostic tools and kits, which have been made possible largely due to the advancement of nanotechnology. We have divided this chapter into the following three sections:
• HIV pathogenesis
• Nanotechnology and the need for innovation
• Role of nanotechnology in HIV diagnostics, drug delivery, and therapy
In section I, the disease characteristics of HIV infection and the viral life cycle are discussed, and the possible target sites for therapeutic intervention are also assessed. The second section delves into the basics of nanoscience and the myriad of possibilities that it offers. The pros and cons of nanotechnology-based therapeutics, along with the need for newer, rapid, and realistic approaches to tackle HIV infection, are explored. Section III examines the various advancements and trends in the diagnosis of the disease condition through nanotechnology-based applications, materials, and tools. This section then progresses to the critical aspects of drug delivery and therapy and concludes by outlining the potential for the development of future nano-based antiretroviral therapies.
Keywords: Antiretroviral Drug Development, HIV, Infectious Diseases, Nanomedicine, Nanotechnology, Viruses.