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Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections.
Most of the antivirals now available are designed to help deal with HIV; herpesvirus, which are best known for causing cold sores but actually cover a wide range of diseases; and the hepatitis B and C viruses, which can cause liver cancer.
The first experimental antivirals were developed in the 1960s, mostly to deal with herpesviruses, and were found using traditional trial-and-error drug discovery methods.
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