Defense proteins produced by the immune system in response
to "foreign" antigens. They counteract bacteria, viruses or
other harmful germs. The antigen/antibody reaction forms one part of
A substance which, upon entering the body, induces a state
of sensitivity and immune response with the production of a specific
antibody after a dormant period (days to weeks).
A protein found in blood. Higher than normal amounts of this
protein can mean that HIV is reproducing
and the disease is progressing (used as a marker before viral load
Soft tissue located in the
cavities of the bones where blood cells are formed.
Used loosely as an equivalent term for T-helper cells, these
are the "big boss" of the immune system. They give direct orders
for other cells to carry out.
Another kind of immune-system
cell. These cells produce an unknown fluid that inhibits HIV.
A screening test of the most important chemicals in the
blood. Such as electrolytes (salts); including sodium, potassium, proteins, and enzymes.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The name of a profile or group of medical tests, that
measure the most important cells in the blood. Includes a count of the
various types of white blood cells, red blood cell count including
hemoglobin, and platelet count.
A hormone-like substance that is
produced and released by lymphocytes.
A complex protein that carries the cell’s genetic
information. HIV can insert itself into a cell's DNA
The component of red blood cells
which carries oxygen.
A protein called interleukin-2, produced by the immune
system, that stimulates the growth of T-cells.
Interleukin-2 is also used to make an immune-regulating drug.
The body’s complex defense system, which recognizes agents
that are foreign to the body (such as viruses and bacteria), responds to
neutralize them, and will later repeat that response if it encounters the
same foreign agent.
A natural or acquired resistance to a specific disease; the
general ability of a body to fight off disease.
Reduced function of one component of the body's immune
system. HIV infection causes immunosuppression and other immune
A substance released by an infected cell, which strengthens
the defenses of nearby cells that are not yet infected.
Interferon is classified according to where it is active in the
body (interferon alpha, interferon gamma, etc.). Interferon is also used to make immune regulating drugs.
Small bean-sized organs of the immune system, found
throughout the body. Antigens that enter the body’s blood are filtered
out by lymph nodes, so that the rest of the immune system can
attack the germ in the blood.
A type of white blood cell.
T-helper cells are lymphocytes.
A large scavenger cell that devours decayed cells, blood
tissue, and foreign particles. Macrophages exist in large numbers
throughout the body, and are key to the development of immunity to a
variety of organisms (living things). They can be a storage place for HIV.
Tiny living organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and fungi;
especially those that cause disease.
A large white blood cell, which acts as a scavenger, capable
of destroying bacteria, etc. Monocytes can also be a storage place for
A moist layer of tissue that lines body cavities which have
an opening to the outside world, e.g., the lining of the mouth, nose,
rectum or vagina.
The development of a disease; what happens to the body's
cells, the body chemistry, and how the cells react.
Your “CD4%” tells what portion of your total lymphocytes
(white blood cells) are T-cells (CD4 cells).
A normal CD4% ranges between 30% and 65%. Doctors look at this percentage in managing the treatment of
people with HIV and other diseases of the immune system.
Cell parts that are critical for
blood clotting and sealing off wounds.
The 10% of the blood that contains nutrients, electrolytes
(dissolved salts), gases, albumin, clotting factors, wastes and hormones.
The initial introduction of an infection, such as HIV or
herpes (for example), into a person. Primary HIV infection is displayed by
a flu-like illness with fever, a general feeling of discomfort, and
enlarged lymph glands.
A protein on the cell surface capable of receiving and
transmitting activity. CD4's have receptors.
Cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Too many RBCs
may slow down circulation. Too
few RBCs may indicate anemia which can cause fatigue or more serious
A kind of virus, which takes genetic material from another
cell’s RNA and then tricks its DNA into bringing "bad"
information into the cell. HIV
is one example of a retrovirus.
A nucleic acid that takes genetic information from DNA and
transfers it to the protein-making part of cells.
T-Helper Cells (T-Cells)
A critically important type of white blood cell (also known
as CD4 or T4 cells) that help the body fight off infections. HIV invades
these cells and weakens or destroys them. T-helper counts below 200
indicates severe immune suppression.
A type of fatty cell. The
number of triglycerides can increases as a result of impaired fat
metabolism, which can be caused by HIV or other medications.
A type of white blood cell that helps regulate the body's
response to an infection; also called a CD8 or T8 cell.
A medicinal substance that contains components made from
antigens to an infectious organism. By stimulating an immune response (but
not disease), it protects against subsequent infection by that organism.
A measurement of the amount of
active HIV in the blood.
Cells which defend the body against infection. A high count
may mean the body is fighting infection. A low count may mean a bone marrow problem. White blood cells are also called leukocytes.