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Phytochemicals and HIV Suppression: A Systematic Review

Author(s): Kai Chi, Yaya Guo, Haiping Gu, Qiuling Zhang, Tabatabaeipozveh Meisam, Yafeng Yang, Xiangmeng Chen, Su Shiung Lam, Liran Xu, Christian Sonne, Wanxi Peng

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes immune suppression known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) leading to various opportunistic infections and malignancies having high mortality rates. Here we provide a systematic review and discussion of current knowledge on photochemical activities against HIV and AIDS. After several years of research, efficient antiretroviral therapy helps controlling the progression of AIDS. However, due to the overuse of antiretroviral drugs, viral resistance in patients and side effects from long-term use of drug therapy have emerged, which shorten life expectancy of patients. To improve HIV treatment, substances in plants may inhibit the life cycle of HIV through inhibition of the activity of reverse transcriptase, integrase or protease required for processes such as HIV transcription and replication. In addition, phytochemicals regulate the human immune system and thereby suppression of HIV and AIDS development in clinical treatments. Therefore, more experiments are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of plants for therapeutic AIDS treatment, which may bring forward new HIV and AIDS treatment options.

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