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What is lamivudine and zidovudine (Combivir)?

Lamivudine-zidovudine, sold in the United States under the brand name Combivir, is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at all stages, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It also may be given to people immediately after they are exposed to the HIV to help prevent an HIV infection from becoming established. Both lamivudine-zidovudine belong to the class of antiretroviral drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. They block the action of reverse transcriptase, which is an enzyme that the HIV requires to replicate. By preventing HIV from replicating, lamivudine-zidovudine slows the progression of HIV-related disease. It does not eradicate the HIV infection, so it is not a cure. It also does not prevent the HIV from being spread to others.