Selected words and phrases

insulin – a hormone that helps the body turn sugar into energy. Low insulin sensitivity is when the body uses insulin less well than usual (this is also called insulin resistance).

matched – in clinical trials matched refers to each group having similar age, gender, ethnicity, HIV duration, health etc in a study.

late breaker – in research, this is a study presented at a medical meeting that was submitted to the conference organisers after the main programme had been decided. There are usually only a few dozen late-breakers, where the last minute results are thought important enough to include – like ‘late-breaking news’. Although this studies often contain the most exciting news, they are given much less time to present their results – maybe less than 10 minutes compared to a normal 15 or 20 minute session. These summary results are also difficult to verify because they include fewer slides and fewer details.

HSV – Herpes Simplex Virus. HSV-1 is the virus mainly associated with cold sores on your lips or faces. HSV-2 is the virus mainly associated with genital herpes. The viruses are very similar.

T1/2 (half-life) –  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?