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Glossary

AIDS -- acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disease caused by a virus that weakens the immune system. This allows other diseases to attack the body.

Anal sex -- sexual intercourse in which the penis is put into the anus (rectum) of the sex partner.

AZT -- a medicine to slow the growth of HIV.

Bedsores -- sores on the skin caused by lying in bed too long.

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Booster -- an extra dose of a vaccine to bring immunity back to full strength and stop illnesses.

Catheter (urinary) -- a tube put in the bladder to drain urine.

Chickenpox -- a very contagious viral disease, very common in children, that causes sores (called pox) on the skin.

CMV -- a virus, cytomegalovirus, that causes a flu-like illness and, in severe cases, swollen glands, pneumonia, eye infections (retinitis), and birth defects.

Condom -- a thin protective sheath that fits over the penis during vaginal, anal, or oral sex to prevent sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy. There are also female condoms that fit inside the vagina.

Dementia -- severe mental problems caused by disease affecting the brain, "losing one's mind."

Diarrhea -- excessive or loose, watery bowel movements, "the runs."

Eczema -- a skin condition with itching, sores, redness, and scaling of the skin.

Epidemic -- an outbreak of disease.

Feces -- waste from the bowels, excrement, bowel movements, "crap."

Genitals -- the sex organs: penis and testicles, vagina and uterus.

Hemophilia -- a hereditary disorder in which the blood does not clot normally, so that cuts or sores bleed for longer than normal.

Hepatitis B -- an infectious viral disease that inflames the liver.

HIV -- human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS.

Hospice -- services provided for dying people.

Immune system -- the parts of the body that fight germs.

Immunizations -- shots or other medical treatments that protect a person from getting a particular infectious illness.

Impetigo -- a bacterial, infectious disease in which the skin erupts with sores filled with pus.

Infection -- germs (bacteria, viruses, or parasites) present in the body. Infection may or may not result in illness.

Infectious disease -- a disease caused by a germ (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites).

Jaundice -- a condition sometimes caused by an infection (hepatitis) that causes the eyes, skin, and urine to turn unusually yellow; can result from damage to the liver.

Latex -- a type of rubber used to make condoms, medical gloves, and other very thin, flexible materials.

Measles -- a very contagious viral disease, usually in children, causes red spots on the skin and high fevers. Also called rubeola. All children should receive measles vaccine.

Mumps -- a very contagious viral disease, common in children, causes swelling of the salivary glands. All children should receive mumps vaccine.

Nasal fluid -- mucus that comes out of the nose, "snot."

Oral sex -- sexual intercourse in which the mouth of one person touches the genitals or anus of another person.

Parasite -- a plant or animal that lives on or in another plant or animal, usually hurting its "host."

Pneumonia -- an infection of the lungs often producing cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Polio -- a viral disease (poliomyelitis) that causes inflammation of the spinal cord, often causing paralysis.

Rubella -- a viral disease that causes birth defects in babies of women who are infected early in pregnancy. Also called German measles. All children should receive rubella vaccine.

Saliva -- spit, the fluid in the mouth.

Semen -- greyish-yellowish fluid that contains sperm and comes out of the penis at orgasm, "cum."

Shingles -- a viral infection (herpes zoster) that causes painful sores on the skin.

Side effects -- things, usually bad, that medicines do to some people in addition to what the medicines are intended to do; for exemple, a drug could make you dizzy, make your joints ache, or make you feel like throwing up.

TB -- a disease (tuberculosis) that usually affects the lungs; formerly called consumption.

Toxoplasmosis -- an infection that can damage the eyes and central nervous system, as well as some internal organs.

Transfusion -- a transfer of blood or blood products into the body from one or more other people.

Urinal -- a container or jar for urine, especially for use by people who cannot get out of bed.

Urine -- the liquid waste product of the body excreted by the kidneys, "piss," "pee."

Vaccine -- an injection (shot) of dead or weakened germs intended to cause the immune system to make antibodies to a particular germ.

Vaginal sex -- sexual intercourse in which the penis is put into the vagina.

Vaginal fluids -- the secretions (wetness) produced inside the vagina. During sexual arousal these secretions usually increase to lubricate the vagina for sexual intercourse.

Vomit -- matter from the stomach ejected through the mouth, "throw up," "spit-up."




  
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This article was provided by AIDSinfo. It is a part of the publication Caring for Someone With AIDS at Home. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
 

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