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Glossary of HIV/AIDS Terms

for Health Care Providers

Glossary of HIV/AIDS Terms

Wasting syndrome

An AIDS-defining condition that is characterized by at least 10% weight loss in the presence of diarrhea, chronic weakness, and documented fever for at least 30 days that is not the result of another infection or disease. In developing countries, it is sometimes called "slim disease."

Western blot

A laboratory test for specific antibodies to confirm repeatedly positive results on the HIV ELISA or EIA tests. In the United States, Western blot is the validation test used most often for confirmation of these other tests. In developing countries, a rapid HIV test is utilized most commonly. A positive rapid HIV test should be confirmed by a second rapid HIV test made by a different manufacturer.

White blood cells

See Leukocytes.

Wild-type virus

The original type of HIV, unchanged by having developed any resistance to antiretroviral drugs. Also, the most common type of a virus in the host population before genetic manipulation or mutation; virus that is isolated from a host as opposed to one that is grown in a laboratory culture.

See Primary isolate.

Window period

Time from infection with HIV until antibodies are detected.

Yeast infection

See Candidiasis.