The time period before childbirth (refers to the mother).
A natural or man-made substance that can kill or stop the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi.
Also known as immunoglobulin. A protein produced by the body's immune system that recognizes and fights infectious organisms and other foreign substances that enter the body. Each antibody is specific to a particular piece of an infectious organism or other foreign substance.
See Also: Antigen
A natural or man-made substance that can kill or stop the growth of a fungus.
Any substance that can stimulate the body to produce antibodies against it. Antigens include bacteria, viruses, pollen, and other foreign materials.
See Also: Antibody
Antigen-Presenting Cell (APC)
A type of cell that collects foreign materials (antigens), digests them into small pieces, and "displays" or "presents" the pieces on its surface. Other cells of the immune system recognize these pieces and become activated to fight the foreign invader. APCs include B lymphoctyes, macrophages, and dendritic cells.
See Also: B Lymphocytes
A natural or man-made substance that can kill or stop the growth or spread of cancer cells.
A natural or man-made substance that can kill or stop the growth of single-celled micro-organisms called protozoa.
A medication that interferes with the ability of a retrovirus (such as HIV) to make more copies of itself.
See Also: Antiretroviral Therapy
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry
An ongoing project to collect observational, nonexperimental information about the use of antiretrovirals during pregnancy. Information from the registry is used to help health care providers and patients weigh the potential risks and benefits of treatment. The registry does not use patient names, and registry staff obtain information from the patients' physicians. http://www.APRegistry.com
Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)
Treatment with drugs that inhibit the ability of retroviruses (such as HIV) to multiply in the body. The antiretroviral therapy recommended for HIV infection is referred to as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which uses a combination of medications to attack HIV at different points in its life cycle.
See Also: Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
A man-made segment of DNA or RNA that can lock onto a strand of DNA or RNA from a virus or other micro-organism. This marks the organism's genetic instructions for destruction and prevents the organism from making more copies of itself.
See Also: Deoxyribonucleic Acid
A natural or man-made substance that can kill or stop the growth of a virus.
See: Antigen-Presenting Cell
A painful shallow sore in the mouth. The sore is usually oval shaped, with a yellow-white center surrounded by a narrow red ring. Aphthous ulcers are 1/8 to 1/4 inch across and have no blisters. They occur on the soft surfaces of the mouth, such as the inner cheeks, inner lips, soft areas of the roof and floor of the mouth, tongue, gums, and throat.
The deliberate, programmed death of a cell. Apoptosis occurs as a normal part of life and helps the body stay healthy. If cells are damaged (for example, cancerous cells or cells infected with HIV), the body orders those cells to die in order to contain the disease.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve a drug before it can be marketed and sold to the public. The approval process involves several steps, including laboratory and animal studies, clinical trials for safety and efficacy, filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) by the manufacturer of the drug, FDA review of the application, and FDA approval/rejection of the application.
See Also: New Drug Application
See: AIDS-Related Complex
Area Under the Curve (AUC)
A measure of how much drug reaches a person's bloodstream in a given period of time (usually the time between each dose or within 24 hours). The AUC is calculated by plotting the drug's blood levels on a graph at different times during the set period to form a curve. The area under this curve reflects the total drug exposure in the set time period.
Any of the treatment groups in a clinical trial. Most clinical trials have two arms, but some have three or even more. Each arm receives a different treatment or placebo.
See Also: Clinical Trial
See: Acute Retroviral Syndrome
See: Antiretroviral Therapy
Joint pain with symptoms such as heat, redness, tenderness to touch, loss of motion, or swelling.
See: AIDS Service Organization
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
See: Liver Function Tests
An infection of the lungs caused by the fungus Aspergillus. The infection may also spread through the blood to other organs. Symptoms include fever, chills, difficulty in breathing, and coughing up blood. If the infection reaches the brain, it may cause dementia.
See: Aspartate Aminotransferase
Having no obvious signs or symptoms of disease.
Partial or complete loss of coordination of voluntary muscular movements. This can interfere with a person's ability to walk, talk, eat, and perform other tasks of daily living.
A term used to describe a bacterium or virus that has been changed in the laboratory so that it is not harmful to people. Attenuated viruses are often used as vaccines because they can no longer cause disease, but can still stimulate a strong immune response. Examples include the vaccines against polio (Sabin oral vaccine), measles, mumps, and rubella.
See: Area Under the Curve
An antibody directed against the body's own tissue.
See Also: Antibody
Avascular Necrosis (AVN)
Death of bone (osteonecrosis) caused by a loss of blood supply to the bone tissue. AVN has occured in the hip bones of some people with HIV, but it is not clear if bone death occurs because of HIV infection itself or as a side effect of the medications used to treat HIV. Symptoms include pain in the affected area of the body, limited range of motion, joint stiffness, limping, and muscle spasms. If untreated, AVN can cause progressive bone damage leading to bone collapse.
See Also: Osteonecrosis
See: Avascular Necrosis
See Also: Active Immunity