For many clinicians providing care for patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), their mood with regard to the use of antiretroviral therapy reflects the opening of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot: “Nothing to be done.” The results of several recently completed clinical trials appear, at least on the surface, to conflict with previously established guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents. To gain perspective on current therapeutic options, it is useful to consider the apparently contradictory data from clinical trials in a historical context as well as in the context of the pathogenesis of HIV. The original placebo-controlled. © 1994, Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.