Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z


Term Definition
ABC Approach abstinence from sexual activity, being faithful to a single partner, and correct and consistent condom use are three key behaviors that can prevent or reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The balanced promotion of all of these behaviors is commonly known as the "ABC" approach – "A" for abstinence (or delayed sexual initiation among youth), "B" for being faithful (or reduction in number of sexual partners), and "C" for correct and consistent condom use, especially for casual sexual activity and other high-risk situations [SOURCE: USAID]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

abortifacient agents chemical substances that interrupt pregnancy after implantation [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

abortion the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus [SOURCE: MedNet]

SEE ALSO: incomplete abortion, induced abortion, missed abortion, septic abortion, spontaneous abortion, threatened abortion
Review Date: 2007 Oct

abortion, incomplete USE: incomplete abortion
abortion, induced USE: induced abortion
abortion, missed USE: missed abortion
abortion, septic USE: septic abortion
abortion, spontaneous USE: spontaneous abortion
abortion, threatened USE: threatened abortion
abscess an abscess is a localized collection of pus in any part of the body that is surrounded by swelling (inflammation). Abscesses occur when an area of tissue becomes infected and the body’s immune system tries to fight it [SOURCE: Merck Encyclopedia]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

abstinence the act of refraining from something. Abstinence is a form of deliberate self-denial, such as the avoidance of pleasure obtained from consuming favorite foods or alcoholic beverages or engaging in sexual relations [SOURCE: AMA: 102]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

abstinence, sexual USE: sexual abstinence
acquired immune deficiency disorder (AIDS) an acquired defect of cellular immunity associated with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a CD4-positive T-lymphocyte count under 200 cells/microliter or less than 14% of total lymphocytes, and increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and malignant neoplasms. Clinical manifestations also include emaciation (wasting) and dementia. These elements reflect criteria for AIDS as defined by the CDC in 1993 [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

active immunity protection from a disease as a result of previous exposure to the disease-causing infectious agent or antigen. The protection can be a result of having had the disease or having received a vaccine to prevent getting the disease [SOURCE: HIV/AIDS]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

acute a term that describes symptoms or disease that begins abruptly and subsides within a relatively short period [SOURCE: AMA: 116]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

acute hepatitis Acute viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by infection with one of the five hepatitis viruses. Acute viral hepatitis can be caused by many different viruses but Hepatitis A is the most common cause followed by hepatitis B [SOURCE: Merck Encyclopedia]

USE FOR: hepatitis, acute
Review Date: 2007 Oct

adenocarcinoma a cancer derived from glandular tissue. Adenocarcinomas develop on the linings or inner surfaces of organs, such as the lung, pancreas, breast, prostate, esophagus, stomach, vagina, urethra, or small intestine [SOURCE: AMA: 117]

SEE ALSO: cancer
Review Date: 2007 Oct

adolescence the period of physical and emotional change between puberty and adulthood [SOURCE: Nat Curr]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

adult onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (AORRP) a disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warty growths in the upper airway may cause significant airway obstruction or voice change. AORRP occurs in persons in the fourth decade of life and is most likely acquired through sexual transmission [SOURCE: Harman/WebMD]

SEE ALSO: condyloma accuminatum, genital warts, human papillomavirus, human papillomavirus type 6, human papillomavirus type 11, papilloma, papillomatosis, recurrent respiratory papilomatosis
Review Date: 2007 Oct

age distribution the frequency of different ages or age groups in a given population. The distribution may refer to either how many or what proportion of the group. The population is usually patients with a specific disease but the concept is not restricted to humans and is not restricted to medicine [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

age factors age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and time factors which refers only to the passage of time [SOURCE: MeSH]

SEE ALSO: menstruation
Review Date: 2007 Oct

amenorrhea absence of menstruation [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

amniotic fluid a clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the fetus inside the sac of amnion. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudation of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anal canal the terminal segment of the large intestine, beginning from the ampulla of the rectum and ending at the anus [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anal cancer tumors or cancer of the anal canal [SOURCE: MeSH]

SEE ALSO: anus neoplasms, cancer
Review Date: 2007 Oct

anal intercourse sexual activity characterized by anal stimulation or penetration with finger, penis, objects, lips, mouth, or tongue [SOURCE: Nat Curr]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

analysis of variance a statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable. [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anatomy physical structure of living things; scientific study of physical structure. Anatomy is concerned with the internal and external physical structures of animals, plants, and other organisms [SOURCE: AMA: 156]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

androgen compounds that interact with androgen receptors in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of testosterone. Depending on the target tissues, androgenic effects can be on sex differentiation male reproductive organs, spermatogenesis; secondary male sex characteristics; libido; development of muscle mass, strength, and power [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

andrology a scientific or medical discipline concerning the study of male reproductive biology, diseases of the male genital organs, and male infertility. Major areas of interest include; spermatogenesis; semen analysis; fertilization, contraception, etc [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anti-HIV agents agents used to treat AIDS and/or stop the spread of the HIV infection. These do not include drugs used to treat symptoms or opportunistic infections associated with AIDS [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anti-infective agents substances that prevent infectious agents or organisms from spreading or kill infectious agents in order to prevent the spread of infection [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anti-infective agents, local USE: local anti-infective agent
anti-infective agents, urinary USE: urinary anti-infective agents
anti-retroviral agents agents used to treat retroviridae infections [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antibacterial agents substances that reduce the growth or reproduction of bacteria [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antibiotic resistance diminished or failed response of an organism, disease or tissue to the intended effectiveness of a chemical or drug [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antibiotics drugs used to treat bacterial infections [SOURCE: AMA: 175]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antibodies immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the antigen (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antibodies, bacterial USE: bacterial antibodies
antigenic variation change in the surface antigen of a microorganism. There are two different types. One is a phenomenon, especially associated with Influenza viruses, where they undergo spontaneous variation both as slow antigenic drift and sudden emergence of new strains [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antigens substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antimicrobial agents a general term referring to several categories of drugs, including antibiotics, antifungals, antiprotozoals, and antivirals. The most important characteristic of an antimicrobial agent is that it acts to inhibit or kill a target pathogen, or disease-causing entity, but has no toxic effect on the host [SOURCE: AMA: 180]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antitreponemal agents agents used to treat infections with bacteria of the genus treponema. This includes syphilis [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antitrichomonal agents agents used to treat trichomonas infections [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

antiviral agents agents used in the prophylaxis or therapy of virus diseases. Some of the ways they may act include preventing viral replication by inhibiting viral DNA polymerase; binding to specific cell-surface receptors and inhibiting viral penetration or uncoating; inhibiting viral protein synthesis; or blocking late stages of virus assembly [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anus the opening at the lower end of the digestive system through which the feces, or stool, passes out of the body. The anus comprises the internal and external anal sphincter muscles. The two muscles work together to open and close the anus [SOURCE: AMA: 183]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

anus neoplasms tumors or cancer of the anal canal [SOURCE: MeSH]

SEE ALSO: anal cancer, cancer
Review Date: 2007 Oct

assessment research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states [SOURCE: MeSH]

Review Date: 2007 Oct

assessment, needs USE: needs assessment
assessment, risk USE: risk assessment
asymptomatic when a person has a condition, but shows no symptoms or indications of sickness or disease [SOURCE: AMA: 203]

Review Date: 2007 Oct