Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): the end stage of HIV infection.
Antiretroviral drugs: another term for anti-HIV drugs.
CD4+T cells: white blood cells that are responsible for signaling other cells in the immune system to perform special functions. CD4+T cells, killed or disabled during HIV infection, are also known as T-helper cells.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): a nucleic acid that contains genetic instructions for the biological development of all cellular forms of life and for many viruses.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART): using a combination of 3 or more drugs to aggressively treat HIV infection.
HIV infection: infection with the HIV virus; a disease characterized by a progressive loss of immune function.
Naive: patients who have not experienced antiretroviral medications
Nucleic acids: complex molecules comprised of nucleotide chains that carry genetic information; the most common nucleic acids are DNA and RNA.
Nucleotide: an organic molecule consisting of a base, a sugar, and phosphate.
Nucleoside: an organic molecule consisting of a base and a sugar.
Protease: an HIV enzyme, used to cut large HIV particles into smaller ones, that are needed for the assembly of a infectious virus particle.
Retrovirus: viruses that carry their genetic material in the form of RNA and that use the enzyme reverse transcriptase to convert RNA into DNA.
Reverse transcriptase: the enzyme produced by HIV and other retroviruses that allows them to synthesize DNA from their RNA.
Ribonucleic acid (RNA): a nucleic acid that controls protein synthesis in living cells.