Abscesses: areas of infection, usually pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.
Acute Retroviral Syndrome: sickness caused by high levels of virus (HIV is a retrovirus) resulting in fevers and other flu-like symptoms.
Autoimmune: a reaction of the immune system (using T cells and antibodies) against its own body.
Boils: a hard, swollen, inflamed area of skin caused by bacterial infection in a skin gland.
CMV disease: an infection caused by a virus in the herpes family that can infect nervous tissue, in particular the retina of the eye (which can result in blindness).
Colposcopic exam: an examination of the vagina using a specialized device called a colposcope.
Folliculitis: inflammation of hair follicles.
HIV-associated dementia: a progressive brain problem that causes confusion, loss of memory, problems thinking, and trouble keeping balanced.
Impetigo: a bacterial skin disease causing pus and yellow crust-like buildup.
Intranasally: taken into the body through the nose.
Intravenous: taken into the body through a vein.
Lactic acidosis: excess accumulation of lactic acid in the body. Lactic acid is a substance in blood and muscle tissue produced by the body when it is processing sugar for energy (usually when exercising or in the absence of normal levels of oxygen).
Lesion: an abnormal change to an area of the body, usually a well-defined mark.
Lethargy: abnormal drowsiness or sluggishness.
Opportunistic infection: a disease caused by an organism that is usually harmless, but becomes activated when a person's immune system is impaired or damaged.
Pap smear: a test for the early detection of cancer in females.
Regimen: a combination or schedule of medications.
Sepsis: a toxic condition caused by the spread of bacteria from one place in the body to all over the body (such as through the blood).
Spleen: a small organ in the body that helps destroy old red blood cells and filters the blood.
Thrombocytopenia: an abnormal loss of platelets in the blood that can lead to hemorrhage if severe.
Toxicities: poisonous or damaging effects on the body.
Vitreous floaters: debris (like dead cells) in the liquid of the eye that may be seen as a spot in the visual field.
This article was provided by The Center for AIDS Information & Advocacy. It is a part of the publication HIV Treatment ALERTS!. Visit CFA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.