HIV i-Base

Selected words and phrases

genotype (or genotypic) – This term has several common uses:

1. a general term for the molecular structure of a living organism or virus.

2. a test that looks at the structure of an organism of virus (ie genotype resistance test looks for changes in the virus structure – called mutations).

3. a category for different types of similar viruses – ie hepatitis C has many subtypes, referred to as genotype-1, genotype-2 etc. HCV genotype is the strongest predictor of response to hepatitis C treatment.

See also phenotype.

prophylaxis – a treatment taken before an illness in order to prevent it occuring. Primary prophylaxis is the terming for taking a preventative treatment before ever having had the illness. Secondary prophylaxis is the term for continuing to take a treatment to prevent the illness coming back.

WHO (World Health Organisation) – international organisation involved in global responses to HIV.

WHO website.

genotype test – a test that looks at how the genetic structure of a sample of HIV and whether the virus has changed with drug resistant mutations.