As people live longer with HIV infection, there has been a resurgence of interest in challenging the use of three-drug therapy, including two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors plus a third drug, as initial treatment of HIV infection or for maintenance therapy in virologically suppressed individuals. Although initial studies showed poor efficacy and/or substantial toxicity, more recent regimens have held greater promise. The SWORD-1 and -2 studies were pivotal trials of dolutegravir plus rilpivirine as maintenance therapy in virologically suppressed patients with no history of drug resistance, leading to the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the regimen as a small, single tablet. More recently, the GEMINI-1 and -2 studies demonstrated that dolutegravir plus lamivudine is as safe and effective as the same regimen when combined with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in treatment-naïve individuals. Together, these and other studies of novel two-drug regimens offer the potential for improved tolerability and simplicity, as well as a reduction in cost. We will review historical and recent trials of two-drug therapy for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.