randomise – in research, this is a way of decide at random which participants join each group. So neither you or your doctor chose which group you join in a research study. A common example is that the decision would be made similar to tossing a coin.
resistance tests – tests to show changes to HIV that are associated with drug resistance. Genotype resistance test looks for genetic changes. Phenotype resistance test see whether individual drugs are still active when placed in a test tube with HIV.
retrovirus – a family of viruses that includes HIV.
reverse transcriptase – an enzyme unique to HIV. It is used to convert single-strand RNA into double-strand DNA. This is needed before HIV’s genetic material can be integrated in the human DNA. HIV drugs that stop this process are called reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs).
revertant mutation – this term is used in two ways.
Firstly when referring to a genetic change that shows the virus is returning from a drug resistant mutation back to a wild-type genotype. This can sometimes take several stages. For example, T215E/D/E and S are revertant mutations that can indicate the drug resistant mutation T215Y is being replaced by wild-type (i.e. T215T).
It can also refer to the fitness of a virus. A revertant mutation can refer to an additional mutation that allows the virus to regain viral fitness (most drug mutations also make the vurs less fit). The second example is called a compensatory mutation as is compensates for the reduced fitness caused by the first mutation.
ribavirin – drug used to boost the efficacy of pegylated interferon to treat hepatitis C. Given as twice-daily capsules.
RITA – this is a type of HIV test that can indicate whether you recemtly became HIV positive. This is defined as being the last six months.
RITA stands for Recent Infection Treatment Algorithm. In the UK, this test is used to be called STARHS (Serological Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion).
It is also sometimes called a de-tuned or recency HIV test.
ritonavir – a protease inhibitor (PI) that is now used boost levels of some other HIV drugs, especially other PIs.
RNA – an abbreviation for the scientific word for genetic material found in some types of viruses. It is the abbreviation for ribonucleic acid. It is very similar to DNA but is single-strand rather than the double-strand in DNA. See DNA.