HIV i-Base

Selected words and phrases

half-life (T1/2) the time taken a drug to clear from the highest concentration to half this level. Drugs have different half-lives in different compartments (ie half-life in blood can be different from the half-life inside a cell). It take 5 x the half-live for a drug to be considered cleared.

What happens when you take a drug?

fusion inhibitor – a type of HIV drug (an entry inhibitor). Fusion inhibitors stops HIV ‘fusing’ to a CD4 cell. T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) is only currently licensed fusion inhibitor.

Drug targets in the virus life cycle.

undetectable – an amount smaller than a test can measure. For viral load tests, this means below 400 or, more commonly, below 50 copies/mL, depending on the make of test. In research laboratories, some very sensitive tests can measure down to 1 copy/mL.

mixed feeding – combination of breastfeeding and bottle feeding.