This document summarizes recommendations from a state-of-the-art conference convened to evaluate the role of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Data from controlled clinical trials of zidovudine, didanosine, and zalcitabine were reviewed by an expert panel, which then formulated guidelines to assist clinicians and HIV-infected patients in the use of these agents. Recommendations were framed in the context of clinical scenarios for patients with asymptomatic HIV infection who have not had prior antiretroviral therapy; those with signs and symptoms of HIV-related disease who have not received prior therapy; clinically stable patients who are tolerating initial zidovudine therapy; patients experiencing clinical progression while on zidovudine therapy; and those who are intolerant of antiretroviral therapy. The panel concluded that physicians need to integrate up-to-date scientific knowledge with other relevant needs to improve the care of HIV-infected patients. (JAMA. 1993;270:2583-2589). © 1993, Walter de Gruyter. All rights reserved.