Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome (AIDS). After over 26 years of efforts, there is still not a therapeutic cure or an effective vaccine against HIV/AIDS. The clinical management of HIV-1 infected people largely relies on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has provided an effective way to treat AIDS patients, the huge burden of ART in developing countries, together with the increasing incidence of drug resistant viruses among treated people, calls for continuous efforts for the development of anti-HIV-1 drugs. Currently, four classes of over 30 licensed antiretrovirals (ARVs) and combination regimens of these ARVs are in use clinically including: reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) (e.g. nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, NRTIs; and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, NNRTIs), protease inhibitors (PIs), integrase inhibitors and entry inhibitors (e.g. fusion inhibitors and CCR5 antagonists). Here, we intend to provide updated information of currently available antiretroviral drugs for ART to promote the development of novel anti-HIV-1 drugs.