The following glossary lists key definitions for HIV, AIDS, reproductive health, medical conditions and pharmaceuticals (medications or drugs) related to HIV and AIDS.There are 420 entries in this glossary.
A disease that is prevalent throughout the whole world. It is also used to describe illnesses that affect an entire country, region, or continent.
|Pap Smear / Cervical Smear||
A medical laboratory test used to diagnose cancer of the cervix. 'Pap' is an abbreviation for ‘papanicolaou test’.
Anything that causes illness or disease. It is usually a virus, fungus, or bacteria.
See pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
See polymerase chain reaction.
|Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)||
An illness that affects women most often caused by untreated STIs (such as chlamydia or gonorrhea). Symptoms include fever, pelvic pain or cramps, and vaginal discharge; but it can also exist without symptoms. If left untreated it can lead to infertility (the inability to get pregnant).
|People Living With HIV (PLWHIV)||
People infected or affected by the HIV virus. Their illness may or may not have advanced to the stage of AIDS. It is preferable to use this term, as opposed to 'people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)' as PLWHA implies that HIV and AIDS are the same. An HIV-positive person can continue to live for several years without acquiring AIDS.
See post-exposure prophylaxis.
See pelvic inflammatory disease.
People living with HIV and AIDS. See people living with HIV.
See prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
|Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)||
A type of pneumonia (a serious lung infection) that commonly affects HIV-positive individuals with CD4 counts below 200. The organism that causes it lives in the lungs of most healthy people without causing any illness. HIV-positive individuals with low CD4 counts should regularly take medication for PCP, even though they may feel well. Symptoms include a fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
|Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)||
A laboratory test that measures the amount of HIV in the blood (viral load). See viral load and ELISA.
|Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)||
A medication or drug given to a person immediately, or as soon as possible, after potential exposure to HIV to reduce the risk of infection. It is usually given to health care workers who are accidentally pricked by hypodermic needles, and to rape victims.
See purified protein derivative .