nanotechnology – science working with tiny particles at the level of manipulating individual molecules. This is an exciting field of medicine. Drugs developed with nanotechnology would need much lower drug doses (hopefully cheaper and having fewer side effects) and would be longer lasting (perhaps being taken every2–4 weeks).

NASBA (nucleic acid sequence based amplification) – a type of viral load test.

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.

nausea – the feeling that you want to be sick (a feeling of wanting to vomit). 

Nausea section in the side effect guide.

neonate – a baby that is 0 to 28 days old.

neutropenia – very low amount of neutrophils (neutrophils are white blood cells that fight bacterial infections).

NHL (Non-Hodgkins lymphoma) – a type of lymph cancer.

Cancer: lymphoma and sarcoma

NNRTI – Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor, a type of HIV drug – also called ‘non-nuke’.

Efavirenz, nevirapine, rilpivirine, etravirine and doravirine are all NNRTIs.

Drug targets in the virus life cycle.

Listing of NNRTIs.

non-nuke – a common term for NNRTI.

NRTI – Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor, a type of HIV drug – also called ‘nuke’ or ‘nucleoside analogue’.

3TC (lamivudine). abacavir, AZT, FTC (emtricitabine), d4T (stavudine), ddI (didanosine) all belong to this class.

Tenofovir DF and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) are a nucleotide analogues which is similar enough to be counted as part of this class.

Drug targets in the virus life cycle.

nucleotide – the building blocks of the genetic code (DNA/RNA). Also called a base.

nucleus – the central part of some cells that contains DNA.

nuke – a common term for NRTI

null hypothesis – in a study this sometimes just refers to the hypothesis, but more specifically it refers the idea that any difference between 2 study groups has only occurred by chance.