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protein substance that the body produces in response to infection

b-cell lymphoma

common malignancy in patients w/ HIV/AIDS


yeast infection of skin or mucous membrane


along w/ the CD4+ receptor, this cell surface molecule is used by HIV to fuse w/ the host's cell membranes


a species-specific herpes virus that may cause retinitis in people w/ AIDS

EIA (enzyme immunoassay)

a blood test that can determine the presence of antibodies to HIV in the blood or saliva; also referred to as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive results must be validated, usually w/ Western blot test


retrovirus isolated and recognized as the etiologic agent of AIDS


retrovirus identified in 1986 in AIDS patients in West Africa

HIV encephalopathy

degenerative neurologic condition characterized by a group of clinical presentations including loss of coordination, mood swings, loss of inhibitions, and widespread cognitive dysfunctions; formerly referred to as AIDS dementia complex (ADC)

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

viruses that cause various warts, including plantar and genital warts; some strains of HPV can also cause cervical cancer

Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome

a syndrome that results from rapid restoration of pathogen-specific immune responses to opportunistic infections; most often occurs after starting antiretroviral therapy

Kaposi's sarcoma

malignancy that involves the epithelial layer of blood and lymphatic vessels

Latent reservoir

the integrated HIV provirus w/in the CD4+ T cell during the resting memory state; does not express viral proteins and is invisible to the immune system and antiviral medications


large immune cell that devours invading pathogens and other intruders; can harbor large quantities of HIV w/out being killed, acting as a reservoir of the virus


large white blood cell that ingests microbes or other cells and foreign particles. When a monocyte enters tissues, it develops into a macrophage

Mycobacterium avium complex

opportunistic infection caused by mycobacterial organisms that commonly causes a respiratory illness but can also infect other body systems

Opportunistic infection

illness caused by various organisms, some of which usually do not cause disease in people w/ normal immune systems

P24 antigen

blood test that measures viral core protein; accuracy of test is limited b/c the p24 antibody binds w/ the antigen and makes it undetectable

Peripheral neuropathy

disorder characterized by sensory loss pain, muscle weakness, and wasting of muscles in the hands or legs and feet

Pneumocystis pneumonia or Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP)

common opportunistic lung infection caused by an organism, believed to be a fungus based on its structure

Polymerase chain reaction

a sensitive laboratory technique that can detect and quantify HIV in a person's blood or lymph nodes

Primary infection

4 to7 week period of rapid viral replication immediately following infection; also known as acute HIV infection

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

opportunistic infection that infects brain tissue and causes damage to the brain and spinal cord

Protease inhibitor

medication that inhibits the function of protease, an enzyme needed for HIV replication


viral genetic material in the form of DNA that has been integrated into the host genome. When it is dormant in human cells, HIV is in a proviral form


a virus that carries genetic material in RNA instead of DNA and contains reverse transcriptase

Reverse transcriptase

enzyme that transforms single-stranded RNA into a double-stranded DNA

Viral load test

measures the quantity of HIV RNA in the blood

Viral set point

amount of virus present in the blood after the initial burst of viremia and the immune response that follows

Wasting syndrome

involuntary weight loss of 10% of baseline body weight w/ chronic diarrhea or chronic weakness and documented fever

Western blot assay

a blood test that identifies antibodies to HIV and is used to confirm the results of an EIA (ELISA) test

Window period

time from infection w/ HIV until seroconversion detected on HIV antibody test

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