Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms
(Starting with "S")
Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms, 5th Edition, AIDSinfo,
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See: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
See: Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue
See: Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase
See: Serum Glutamic Pyruvate Transaminase
See: Structured Intermittent Therapy
See: Simian Immunodeficiency Virus
See: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
See: Sexually Transmitted Disease
See: Structured Treatment Interruption
Salmonella is a bacterium that enters the body through
ingestion of contaminated food or water. Symptoms of
infection include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Salmonella
septicemia is a severe infection that circulates through
the whole body. Recurrent Salmonella septicemia is considered
an AIDS-defining condition in people with HIV.
Also known as rescue therapy. An HIV treatment regimen
designed for people who have used many different anti-HIV
drugs in the past, have failed at least two anti-HIV
regimens, and have extensive drug resistance.
A skin condition common in people with HIV. It is characterized
by loose, greasy or dry, white to yellowish scales,
with or without reddened skin. Seborrheic dermatitis
may involve the skin of the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids,
nasolabial creases, lips, behind the ears, in the external
ear, and on the trunk, particularly over the sternum
and along skin folds. The cause is unknown.
A serious blood-borne infection that is usually caused
by bacteria. Immunocompromised people, such as those
with HIV disease, are at increased risk for sepsis.
The process by which a newly infected person develops
antibodies to HIV. These antibodies are then detectable
by an HIV test. Seroconversion may occur anywhere from
days to weeks or months following HIV infection.
See Also: Window
A laboratory test to determine if an individual has
antibodies to a particular foreign invader, such as
a virus. A positive serologic test indicates that an
individual is infected or has had an infection in the
The number or proportion of people in a given population
who have positive serologic tests for a particular infection.
The clear, thin, and sticky fluid that separates from
blood when it clots.
Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT)
Serum Glutamic Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT)
The viral load established within a few weeks to months
after infection, after the initial burst of virus replication
has subsided. The viral set point is thought to remain
steady for an indefinite period of time if the infection
is not treated with anti-HIV drugs. An individual's
viral set point may determine how quickly HIV infection
will progress without treatment. Higher set points suggest
that disease will progress faster than lower set points.
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
Any infection spread by the transmission of organisms
from person to person during sexual contact.
A disease caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), which
also causes chickenpox. VZV remains in the nerve roots
of everyone who has had chickenpox and can become active
years later to cause shingles. Shingles causes numbness,
itching, or severe pain followed by clusters of blister-like
lesions in a strip-like pattern on one side of the body.
The pain can persist for weeks, months, or years after
the rash heals.
See Also: Varicella
The actions or effects of a drug (or vaccine) other
than desired therapeutic effects. The term usually refers
to undesired or negative effects, such as headache,
skin irritation, or liver damage.
Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)
A virus similar to HIV that can infect monkeys, chimpanzees,
and macaques and can cause a disease similar to AIDS
in some of these animals. Because the two viruses are
closely related, researchers study SIV as a way to learn
more about HIV. However, SIV cannot infect humans, and
HIV cannot infect monkeys.
Also known as lumbar puncture. A procedure in which
cerebrospinal fluid from the lower spine is extracted
with a needle for examination.
Enlargement of the spleen.
Method of detecting certain infections (especially tuberculosis)
by analyzing sputum, the mucus matter that collects
in the respiratory and upper digestive passages and
is expelled by coughing.
Standard of Care
A treatment plan that experts agree is appropriate,
accepted, and widely used for a given disease or condition.
A shortened name for a class of cholesterol-lowering
drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Drugs in
this class lower cholesterol by slowing down the body's
production of cholesterol and by increasing the liver's
ability to remove cholesterol from the blood.
See Also: Cholesterol
A "generic" cell that can make exact copies
of itself indefinitely, but can also produce specialized
cells for various tissues in the body, such as heart
muscle, brain tissue, and liver tissue.
A general class of substances that are structurally
related to one another and share the same chemical skeleton.
Some hormones and drugs are steroids. For example, natural
testosterone and its man-made derivatives help build
muscle mass. Corticosteroid drugs are used to reduce
swelling and pain.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
A severe and sometimes fatal form of skin rash characterized
by red, blistered spots on the skin; blisters in the
mouth, eyes, genitals, or other moist areas of the body;
peeling skin that results in painful sores; and fever,
headache, and other flu-like symptoms. Internal organs
may also be affected. SJS may occur as a severe reaction
to certain medications, including NNRTIs used to treat
Inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes in
Structured Intermittent Therapy (SIT)
A type of structured treatment interruption that is
characterized by time-based treatment cycles (weeks
or months on and off anti-HIV drugs).
See Also: Structured
Structured Treatment Interruption
Also known as a "drug holiday." A planned,
doctor-supervised discontinuation of anti-HIV drugs.
Goals of STI include reduced toxicity, reduced treatment
costs, and improved quality of life.
An infection or phase of an infection without obvious
symptoms or signs of disease.
Beneath the skin, or administration of a substance beneath
Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT)
A type of adipose (fat) tissue found directly under
the skin. Both loss (lipoatrophy) and gain (lipohypertrophy)
of this fat tissue can occur as a side effect of HIV
infection and some of the drugs used to treat HIV infection,
especially PIs and NRTIs.
See Also: Visceral
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The lead agency within the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS) for improving the quality
and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction
treatment, and mental health services in the United
HIV is classified into two types, HIV-1 and HIV-2. Within
HIV-1 are groups of similar viral strains. These are
the major (M) subtype and non-M (new [N] and outlier
[O]) subtypes. The majority of HIV-1 infections are
by M-subtype viral strains. Subtype M HIV-1 is further
broken down into nine genetically distinct strains known
See Also: Clade
Subunit HIV Vaccine
Also known as component vaccine. Subunit vaccines contain
only part of the HIV virus (such as individual proteins
or peptides) produced in the laboratory by genetic engineering
See Also: Vaccine
A new infection acquired on top of an existing infection.
For example, a person infected with one strain of HIV-1
can, if exposed to a different strain, become infected
with the new strain in addition to the existing strain.
Superinfection can complicate HIV treatment by requiring
additional drugs to target the newly introduced HIV
Having little resistance to a specific infectious disease.
Also used to describe an HIV strain that is not resistant
to a particular anti-HIV drug.
A giant cell formed by the fusing together of two or
more smaller cells. HIV-infected cells can fuse with
uninfected cells to form syncytia. The presence of so-called
syncytia-inducing variants of HIV has been correlated
with rapid disease progression in HIV-infected individuals.
A set of symptoms or conditions that occur together
and suggest a certain disease or an increased chance
of developing a disease.
An interaction between two or more drugs that produces
an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium
Treponema pallidum. In the early stage of syphilis,
a genital or mouth sore called a chancre develops, but
eventually disappears on its own. However, if the disease
is not treated, the infection can progress over years
to affect the heart and central nervous system. Syphilis
can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her
fetus during pregnancy, with serious health consequences
for the infant.
A term used to describe a disease or treatment that
affects the body as a whole.
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