Guides

Glossary

johnwalter2 detail 3ART: antiretroviral treatment (HIV drugs).

ARV: antiretroviral – an HIV drug.

CCR5 inhibitor: an HIV drug that blocks HIV from attaching to a CD4 cell (for example, maraviroc).

Confirmatory test: a second test to double-check the results of a previous one.

Cross-resistance: where resistance to one drug is also resistant to similar drugs in the same class.

Expanded access: a way to use a drug before it is fully approved. This is for people who need them urgently. It is also called “early access” or “named-patient”.

Fusion inhibitor: an HIV drug that stops HIV attaching to a CD4 cell (e.g. T-20).

Genotype: relating to the genetic structure of an organism.

Integrase inhibitor: a type of HIV drug that stops HIV from integrating into the DNA in a cell (for example, raltegravir, elvitegravir, dolutegravir, bictegravir and cabotegravir).

mAb: monoclonal antibody (also bnAb: broadly neutralising monoclonal antibody) – biological compounds that are being studied for HIV treatment, prevention and cure.

Mutation: a change in the structure of HIV that can stop a drug working.

NNRTI: non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor – a type of HIV drug (for example, nevirapine, efavirenz, rilpivirine, etravirine and doravirine).

NRTI: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (also called nucleoside analogue) – a type of HIV drug (for example, AZT, 3TC, FTC and abacavir). Tenofovir-DF and TAF are nucleotide RTIs and work in a similar way.

PI: protease inhibitor – a type of HIV drug (for example atazanavir, darunavir, lopinavir, and tipranavir).

Second-line therapy: the combination used after your first treatment has failed.

Treatment-experienced: someone who has previously used HIV treatment.

Treatment-naive: someone who has never taken HIV treatment before. People who are treatment naive can still be resistant to HIV drugs if they were infected with drug resistant HIV.

Viral tropism: the type of coreceptor used by HIV in order to attach (and then infect) a cell. HIV can use CCR5 (R5 tropic), CXCR4 (R4 tropic), or both (dual or mixed tropic).

Viral load test: a blood test to measure the amount of HIV in your blood. Each test has a cut-off (usually 50 copies/mL). Results below this cut-off are called undetectable.

Viral rebound: when current treatment fails and viral load starts to rise again.

Wild-type virus: HIV that has no drug resistance mutations. This is usually the virus that you are first infected with.

Last updated: 27 May 2019.