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Technical Word List.

Antiretrovirals are drugs used to treat HIV infection.

Antiretroviral therapy (often abbreviated ART) usually means treatment with three or more antiretrovirals.

Body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of weight often used in medical studies. BMI equals weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A BMI below 18.5 is underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or higher is obese. You can find a BMI calculator at wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Cardiovascular is the term used to include the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease can include heart attacks and other heart diseases, stroke, and other blood vessel disease.

CD4 cells are one type of cell necessary to fight infection. HIV attacks CD4 cells, so CD4 counts fall when a person is not taking antiretrovirals to control HIV or when treatment fails.

CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a cubic millimeter of blood. People with CD4 counts below 500 have a harder time controlling infections. The risk of uncontrolled infections gets higher as the CD4 count gets lower.

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Cirrhosis is development of permanent nonfunctioning scar tissue in the liver.

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is ongoing lung inflammation that blocks airflow from the lungs.

Depression is "a persistent sad, anxious, or 'empty' mood," according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both.

Fibrosis is a high amount of scar tissue in the liver, which can result in cirrhosis.

Hypertension is high blood pressure against artery walls as blood circulates through the body.

Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) is considered normal; 120-139/8089 is considered prehypertension; and 140/90 or higher is considered hypertension.

The immune system is the collection of cells and organs that help the body fight infections and cancers.

Incidence is the rate at which an event (such as infection with a virus or a stroke) occurs over a defined period of time (such as 1 year).

Inflammation, marked by increased blood flow and fluid release, is the body's natural response to infection or injury. Ongoing inflammation can contribute to heart disease, certain cancers, and other diseases in people with HIV.

A median is a midpoint--the number above which half of all the numbers in a series lie, and below which half of all the numbers in a series lie. A median age of 45 years means half of the people being studied are under 45 and half are over 45. The median number differs from the average (or mean) number For example, in the series 1, 3, 8, 9, and 14, the median is 8 because half of the other numbers lie above it and the remaining half lie below. But the average of 1, 3, 8, 9, and 14 is 7.

Pack-years measure the number of packs smoked daily in a year. You can calculate pack-years by multiplying the number of packs smoked daily by the number of years the person has smoked. So 1 pack-year means smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year, or 2 packs daily for a half-year.

A person-year is a measure of time used in medical studies. A single person-year is 1 year lived by 1 person. An HIV infection rate of 2 per 100 person-years means 2 of 100 people are infected each year.

Spirometry is a simple office test that determines how well the lungs work by measuring the amount of air inhaled, the amount exhaled, and how quickly air is exhaled.

A stroke occurs when blood stops flowing to part of the brain.

Viral load is the number of HIV particles in a milliliter of blood or another body fluid, such as semen or cerebrospinal fluid.
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Publication:HIV Treatment: ALERTS!
Date:May 1, 2018
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