for Health Care Providers
Glossary of HIV/AIDS Terms
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
(Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) A type of enzyme immunoassay to determine the presence of antibodies to HIV in the blood or oral fluids. Repeatedly (i.e. two or more) reactive ELISA test results should be confirmed with a second test such as the Western blot test, a rapid HIV test, or a DNA or RNA PCR. Availability of the confirmatory test often determines which one is performed.
A brain inflammation of viral or other infectious disease origin. Symptoms include headaches, neck pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and nervous system problems. Several types of opportunistic infections can cause encephalitis.
Viewing the inside of a body cavity (e.g. colon or throat) with an endoscope, a device using flexible fiber optics.
A category of data used to compare the outcome of a clinical trial. Common endpoints are severe toxicity, disease progression, or death.
(T-20) A fusion inhibitor drug that inhibits HIV by interfering with the binding of the virus to CD4 cell receptors.
Breasts that are overlly full, partly with milk and partly with increased tissue fluid and blood. As a result, milk flow is inhibited. Engorged breasts are often painful, shiny, and diffusely red. Nipples may be stretched tight and flat. The condition may be accompanied by fever lasting 24 hours or less.
Compounds designed to prevent the interactions between the HIV virus and the cell surface. These compounds can block or prevent HIV binding to human cell surface receptors.
The formation and accumulation of an abnormally large number of eosinophils in the blood. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that helps to destroy infectious agents. Increased numbers are seen in allergy and parasitic infection.
A disease that spreads rapidly through a part of the human population--such as everyone in a given geographic area, a military base, school, or village--or everyone of a certain age or sex, such as the children or women of a region. Epidemic diseases can be spread from person to person or from a contaminated source such as food or water.
The ongoing organizing and collection, analysis, and interpretation of facts about a disease or health condition.
The branch of medical science that deals with the study and distribution and control of a disease in a population.
A surgical incision into the perineum and vagina at the time of delivery to prevent traumatic tearing during delivery.
The covering of the internal and external organs of the body. Also the lining of blood vessels, body cavities, glands, and organs.
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
A herpeslike virus that causes one of the two kinds of mononucleosis (the other is caused by CMV). It infects the nose and throat and is contagious. It has been associated with Burkitt lymphoma and hairy leukoplakia.
A type of hypersensitivity reaction (rash) that occurs in response to drugs, infections, or illness. The exact cause is unknown. A severe form of this condition is called Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
A test that measures the rate at which red blood cells settle through a column of liquid. This test is used to detect and monitor inflammation in the body.
The study of a patient to determine the cause and effect of an illness, the study of a set of facts to determine what the facts mean, or the study of a program to determine its effectiveness.
The medical determining of whether a patient may or may not be allowed to participate in a clinical trial. For example, some trials may not include persons with chronic liver disease, or may exclude persons with certain drug allergies.
Feeding an infant only breast milk from his/her mother or a wet nurse, or expressed breast milk and no other liquids or solids with the exception of drops or syrups consisting of vitamins, mineral supplements, or medicines.
A toxic substance made by bacteria released outside the bacterial cell that causes illness in a patient.