Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms
(Starting with "D")
Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms, 5th Edition, AIDSinfo,
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of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Scan
of Health and Human Services
Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms
and Safety Monitoring Board
and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)
An independent committee of community representatives
and clinical research experts who review data while
a clinical trial is in progress to ensure that participants
are not exposed to undue risk. A DSMB may recommend
that a trial be stopped if there are safety concerns
or if the trial objectives have been achieved, or can
require changes to the study design to ensure safety
A type of antigen-presenting cell that picks up foreign
substances from the bloodstream and "presents"
them to other parts of the immune system, activating
an immune response against the foreign invader.
See Also: Antigen-Presenting
Chemical structure that contains the genetic instructions
for reproduction and protein synthesis for all cells
and for many viruses.
of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
The U.S. government's principal agency for protecting
the health of all Americans and for providing essential
human services. DHHS includes more than 300 programs
covering a wide spectrum of activities. Programs are
administered by 11 operating divisions, including the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). DHHS works closely with
state and local governments, and many DHHS-funded services
are provided at the local level by state or county agencies
or through private-sector grantees.
Gradually increasing the dose of a medicine in order
to avoid severe side effects. Desensitization procedures
are sometimes used when administering some anti-HIV
drugs and antibiotics.
Also known as diabetes mellitus. A disease characterized
by high levels of sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia).
It can be caused by too little insulin (a hormone produced
by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar), resistance
to insulin, or both. Some anti-HIV drugs may cause or
See Also: Hyperglycemia
Uncontrolled, loose, watery, and frequent bowel movements
caused by diet, infection, medication, or irritation
or inflammation of the intestine. Severe or long-lasting
diarrhea can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. The
most common infectious organisms causing HIV-related
diarrhea include cytomegalovirus (CMV); the parasites
Cryptosporidium, Microsporidia, and Giardia; and the
bacteria Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare.
Bacteria and parasites that cause diarrheal symptoms
in otherwise healthy people may cause more severe, prolonged,
or recurrent diarrhea in people with HIV or AIDS.
Observed Therapy (DOT)
A treatment strategy in which a health care provider
or other observer watches a patient take each dose of
a drug. This strategy is used with diseases like tuberculosis
(TB) and HIV infection, where adherence is important
for effective treatment and to prevent emergence of
See Also: Adherence
A pair of long-term sexual partners in which one person
is infected with a sexually transmitted infection (such
as HIV) and the other is not.
of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS)
A division of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
(NIAID). DAIDS was formed in 1986 to address the national
research needs created by the HIV/AIDS epidemic; to
increase basic knowledge of the pathogenesis, natural
history, and transmission of HIV disease; and to support
research to promote HIV detection, treatment, and prevention.
See Also: National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Institutes of Health
Dorsocervical Fat Pad
A type of lipodystrophy (problem in the way the body
produces, uses, and distributes fat) in which fatty
tissue builds up on the upper back and neck. It most
often occurs in HIV-infected people as a result of PI
or NRTI drug treatment. This fat buildup, also known
as "buffalo hump," may also be associated
with other metabolic side effects, such as high insulin
See Also: Lipodystrophy
The relationship between the dose of a drug and its
corresponding effect on the body. If a drug exhibits
a dose-response effect, it means that as the dose increases,
so does the effect.
A clinical trial design in which neither the participants
nor the study staff know which individuals are receiving
the experimental treatment and which are receiving a
placebo (or another "control" therapy). Double-blind
trials produce more objective results because the expectations
of the study staff and the participants do not affect
See Also: Controlled
An interaction between two or more drugs in which one
drug blocks or reverses the effect of another drug.
An effect that can occur when one drug is taken with
another drug or when the drug is taken with particular
foods. Possible effects include changes in absorption
from the digestive tract, changes in the rate of the
drug's breakdown in the liver, new or increased side
effects, or changes in the drug's activity.
See Also: Drug-Drug
Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)
A rare but life-threatening allergic drug reaction that
sometimes occurs in people taking certain NNRTIs. Symptoms
include severe rash along with fever, blood abnormalities,
and organ inflammation.
The ability of some micro-organisms, such as bacteria,
viruses, and parasites, to adapt so that they can multiply
even in the presence of drugs that would normally kill
A change in the way a drug works when it is taken along
with another drug. The effect may be an increase or
a decrease in the action of either drug, or it may be
a side effect that does not normally occur with either
Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Scan (DEXA)
A painless test that uses low energy x-rays to measure
the mineral content of bones. DEXA scans are commonly
used to test for osteopenia or osteoporosis, and are
also used to evaluate lipodystropy.
See Also: Osteopenia
Abnormal levels of fat in the blood, usually referring
to abnormally high levels. Dyslipidemia may occur as
a result of HIV infection or as a side effect of some
See Also: Hyperlipidemia
Difficult or labored breathing.
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