Imatinib (Glivec)

Imatinib (Glivec) is an anti-cancer drug that is licensed for the treatment of types of blood cancers, including leukaemia, and gastrointestinal and other tumours. It works by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosine kinase, which turns on the expression of cancer-causing genes in tumour cells

Imatinib is manufactured by Novartis. In the United States, it is marketed as Gleevec.

Case reports have suggested that imatinib can be used to treat Kaposi’s sarcoma and leukaemia in HIV-positive patients.1 2 3

Imatinib has common but mild side-effects, including water retention, nausea, rash and pain in the muscles and bones. It does not appear to interact with HIV medications.3


  1. Koon HB et al. Imatinib-induced regression of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma. J Clin Oncol 23: 982-989, 2004
  2. Merante S et al. First case of an AIDS patient with systemic mast cell disease associated with eosinophilia FIP1-positive treated with imatinib mesylate therapy. J Clin Oncol 24: e6-e7, 2006
  3. Tsimberidou AM et al. Chronic myeloid leukaemia in a patient with acquired immune deficiency syndrome: complete cytogenetic response with imatinib mesyalte: report of a case and review of the literature. Leuk Res 28: 657-660, 2004

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.