All definitions are derived from National Aids Manual (NAM).
Adherence to your HIV regimen means taking your pills at the right time, in the right doses and in the right way. It can also pertain to adhering to a plan of treatment including keeping appointments and having your bloods monitored.
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the result of damage to the immune system. A damaged immune system is unable to protect the body against certain specific 'opportunistic' infections and tumours. These are called opportunistic because they are caused by organisms which are normally controlled by the immune system but which 'take the opportunity' to cause disease if the immune system has been damaged.
Baseline bloods usually include the following: HIV confirmatory test, HIV viral load, full blood count, CD4 count, routine liver function, kidney and lipids, infection screens for hepatitis A,B and C and syphilis, and HIV resistance test.
CD4 cells/T helper cells are white blood cells which organise the immune system’s response to micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungal infections and viruses.
Research study used to assess the benefits and risks of a new treatment.
Couples with the same HIV status.
Couples with different HIV statuses: one partner of the couple is HIV-positive and one partner is HIV-negative.
Anti-HIV drugs, HAART stands for highly active anti-retroviral therapy.
Hepatitis A, B and C
Viral infections that affect the liver.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and prevents the immune system from working properly. Normally, the body's immune system would fight off infection. But HIV is able to infect key cells (called CD4 cells) which co-ordinate the immune system's fight against infection.
HIV resistance test
Blood test which detects resistance to anti-HIV drugs.
STI (sexually transmitted infection)
STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, an infection which is transmitted through unprotected sex or unprotected oral sex.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It can be treated with antibiotics. If it remains untreated it can cause serious health problems such as infertility.
Genital warts are sexually transmitted and are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Sometimes warts go away themselves, however they can often be treated by a doctor.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is usually treatable with antibiotics but if it remains untreated it can cause serious health problems.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. Syphilis has different stages. In the early stages it is easily treatable, however, if it remains untreated serious health problems can occur.
Viral load is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in your blood.