i-base

Glossary

Selected words and phrases

minor mutation – a drug resistance mutation that have a big impact on whether a drug continues to work. This used to be called a secondary mutation.

enzyme – a protein produced in the body that triggers or speeds up other chemical reactions.

natural history – the pattern a disease follows if it is not treated. The natural history of HIV includes very high viral load in the first weeks or months of infection (seroconversion), a drop in CD4 counts that then recovers, and then a slower progressive increase in viral load and decrease in CD4 count, that eventually lead to opportunistic infections.

Natural history graph and more details.

second-line therapy – the combination of used after your first treatment has failed.

macrophage – large white blood cell that engulfs or ‘eats’ infectious organisms and waste material from dead cells.