Glossary

acute: initial or beginning stage of infection, usually the first six months

anti-viral medications: Anti-viral medications work by stopping a virus from copying itself. This is different than ordinary medicines such as antibiotics that kill bacteria but do not kill viruses.

asymptomatic: showing no symptoms or signs of illness

chronic: a long-term or recurring infection or condition

cirrhosis: late-stage liver disease defined by scarring of the liver (fibrosis) and hardening, leading to loss of liver functions and possibly failure

diagnosis: identification of a specific illness by tests or symptoms

fibrosis: the thickening and scarring of tissue as a result of liver damage

HIV: the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens your immune system, which is the internal system that defends your body against disease. Your immune system is supposed to protect you from infections, but HIV can sneak past it and then attack your body from the inside. If your immune system becomes weak enough, you can become sick from other infections. If left untreated, eventually you can become sick with a life-threatening infection, at which point you are said to have AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

immunize: to be made resistant to, or protected against, a certain disease, usually through a vaccine

inflammation: swelling, heat and sometimes pain in an area of the body where it is responding to illness or toxins and trying to heal

jaundice: yellowing of the skin or eyes that can be caused by liver disease

sterile: something that has no germs (bacteria, viruses or any other substance or organism) that can cause disease

sterilize: the process of removing germs that can cause disease

symptoms: the body’s signs that a person is sick

vaccine: helps a person’s immune system create antibodies to protect them against a specific disease

virus: a germ that can cause disease