Have HIV medications been proved effective in combating the 2003 SARS virus?

Thursday, April 23, 2020
By Caroline Parker

There is not enough evidence to prove that antiretroviral HIV medications, particularly Lopinavir and Ritonavir (LPV/r) are effective treatments for SARS. The question lost urgency when SARS receded as a threat in 2004, but as the coronavirus causing the 2020 pandemic is from the same family of virus it has received renewed attention.

The Center for Evidence-Based Medicine reports that while LPV/r treatments have shown some promise in small studies of both COVID-19 and SARS, more research is needed. According to the World Health Organization, studies of HIV medications as antiretroviral agents against SARS and COVID-19 are underway, but certainty of evidence is “very low” due to small sample size and other variables.

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