Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms
(Starting with "M")
Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms, 5th Edition, AIDSinfo,
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AIDS Cohort Study
See: Multiple Drug-Resistant
See: Medication Event
See: Major Histocompatibility
See: Magnetic Resonance
A type of disease-fighting white blood cell that destroys
foreign invaders and stimulates other immune system
cells to fight infection.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A noninvasive technique that uses magnetic fields and
radio waves instead of x-rays to produce 3-dimensional
computerized images of the body's internal tissues and
Also known as secondary prophylaxis. A treatment to
prevent an infection from coming back after it has been
brought under control.
Major Histocompatibility Complex
A condition that occurs when the intestines have problems
absorbing nutrients. Malabsorption syndrome is associated
with HIV infection and can cause loss of appetite, muscle
pain, and weight loss.
See Also: Wasting
A general feeling of discomfort or not feeling well.
Referring to uncontrolled cell growth that may spread
to other tissue, such as in cancer.
Medication Event Monitoring System
A method of measuring drug adherence that uses a computer
chip embedded in a pill bottle lid to record the date
and time each dose is taken. Current obstacles to its
use include its large size, the possibility of malfunction
when refrigerated, and inaccurate reporting when pillboxes
are used in place of the original bottle.
See Also: Adherence
A database of health information developed by the National
Library of Medicine (NLM). MedlinePlus has information
on several hundred diseases and conditions as well as
other health information. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
Memory T Cells
A specific type of infection-fighting T cell that can
recognize foreign invaders that were encountered during
a prior infection or vaccination. At a second encounter
with the invader, memory T cells can reproduce to mount
a faster and stronger immune response than the first
time the immune system responded to the invader.
See Also: T
Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain
or spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by a bacterium,
fungus, or virus such as HIV.
Messenger RNA (mRNA)
A molecule that carries genetic instructions for building
a particular protein from the cell's DNA to the place
in a cell where proteins are assembled. There, the messenger
RNA serves as a blueprint for the construction of a
See Also: Translation
Also known as Syndrome X. A cluster of disorders affecting
the body's metabolism, including high blood pressure,
high insulin levels, excess body weight, and abnormal
cholesterol levels. Some anti-HIV drugs may cause or
worsen these metabolic disorders.
The chemical reactions that produce energy for the body.
Living organisms that can be seen only through a microscope,
including bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and fungi.
A natural or man-made substance that kills microbes.
Researchers are studying the use of microbicides to
prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs), including HIV infection.
See Also: Microbes
An infection of the intestines caused by a parasite.
The infection can cause diarrhea and wasting (loss of
weight and strength) in people with HIV.
Rod-like structures that produce energy for a cell.
A condition in which mitochondria are damaged. This
condition is a potential side effect of NRTIs and can
cause problems in the heart, nerves, muscles, pancreas,
kidneys, and liver.
See Also: Mitochondria
A disease of the skin and mucous membranes caused by
a virus. The condition causes pearly white or flesh-colored
bumps on the face, neck, underarms, hands, and genital
region. In people with HIV, molluscum contagiosum can
get worse with time and often becomes resistant to treatment.
The rate of sickness or disease within a certain population.
The death rate, measured as the number of deaths within
a certain population. The measure can apply to death
from a particular disease or condition.
The passage of HIV from an HIV-infected mother to her
infant. The infant may become infected while in the
womb, during labor and delivery, or through breastfeeding.
Relating to mucous membranes and the skin (for example,
the mouth, lips, eyes, vagina, or anal area).
Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study
An ongoing study of HIV infection in homosexual and
bisexual men. The study is co-funded by the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID);
the National Cancer Institute (NCI); and the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and is conducted
at four clinical centers. Information about the natural
history of HIV disease, the impact of treatment on disease
progression, the role of genetic factors, and other
long-term therapy issues are continually reported from
Multiple Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
A tuberculosis (TB) infection that does not respond
to two or more standard anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB usually
occurs when inadequate or improper treatment allows
the bacteria that cause TB to continue multiplying and
become drug resistant.
See Also: Tuberculosis
A change or adaptation that can be passed down to future
generations. Mutations can occur only when a virus is
actively replicating, and not when anti-HIV drugs have
suppressed the viral load to undetectable. If HIV replication
is not well controlled, an individual's original HIV
strain can adapt to infect different cell types or resist
different anti-HIV drugs.
Muscle pain or tenderness that spreads throughout the
body and is usually accompanied by a general feeling
of discomfort or weakness.
Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC)
An infection caused by two bacteria found in soil and
dust particles. The infection can be limited to a specific
area or can spread throughout the body. This life-threatening
disease is extremely rare in people who are not infected
with HIV, and MAC is considered an AIDS-defining condition
in HIV-infected people.
Any disease caused by a fungus.
Decreased bone marrow function that results in reduced
production of red blood cells, white blood cells, or
platelets. Myelosuppression is a side effect of certain
A disease of muscle tissue. Myopathy may be caused by
certain anti-HIV drugs or as a consequence of HIV infection
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