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November 2001

Adherence: how well someone takes medication as directed, with respect to number and timing of doses.

Anemia: low levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in poor oxygen transport and usually feelings of tiredness or fatigue.

Cushing's syndrome: an abnormal condition of obesity and muscle weakness caused by an overproduction of corticosteroids in the body.

Diabetes mellitus: a disorder involving insulin (a substance in the body that helps regulate blood sugar) that results in too much sugar in the blood and urine. Symptoms include hunger, thirst, weight loss, and frequent urination.

Hormone: a substance secreted by one part of the body that stimulates cells in another part of the body (for example, testosterone).

Hypercholesterolemia: elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Lactic acidosis: accumulation of lactic acid in the body.

Lipodystrophy: in general, changes in body fat such as loss of fat in the arms and legs and accumulation of fat in the gut or at the back of the neck.

Metabolism: chemical reactions in the body that are part of life; for example, turning food into energy or breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.

Neuromuscular: affecting both nerves and muscles.

Neutropenia: loss of a kind of white blood cell called neutrophils.

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.

Osteopenia: loss of bone material in a person.

Pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas, an internal organ, usually involving pain in the upper abdomen (just under the ribs) and possible nausea and vomiting.

Paronychia: inflammation (and usually infection) of skin near the nail of a finger or toe.

Perinatal: happening around the time of birth.

Peripheral neuropathy: degeneration of peripheral nerves (such as those in the arms and legs) resulting in muscle weakness, pain, and numbness.

Post-exposure prophylaxis: medication taken to prevent the spread or occurrence of disease.

Psoriasis: a chronic skin disease causing well-defined red areas of skin covered with white scales.

Serodiscordant: in HIV, a situation where one sexual partner is infected and the other is not.

Teratogen: an agent (like a drug or a virus) that can cause birth defects.

Toxicities: poisonous or damaging effects on the body.

Back to the HIV Treatment ALERTS! November 2001 contents page.

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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.