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Zidovudine (INN) or azidothymidine (AZT) (also called ZDV) is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) , a type of antiretroviral drug. It is an analog of thymidine.
AZT was the first approved treatment for HIV, sold under the names Retrovir and Retrovis. AZT use was a major breakthrough in AIDS therapy in the 1990s that significantly altered the course of the illness and helped destroy the notion that HIV/AIDS was an instant death sentence. AZT slows HIV spread significantly, but does not stop it entirely. This allows HIV to become AZT resistant over time, and for this reason AZT is usually used in conjunction with other NRTIs and anti-viral drugs. In this form, AZT is used as an ingredient in Combivir and Trizivir, among others