Glossary

AHPN - a UK organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of UK's African population, by influencing health policies to ensure the health needs of minority communities are addressed in a meaningful way.

AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: this is a term used to describe the latter stages of HIV, when the immune system has stopped working and the person develops a life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia. The term AIDS was first used by doctors when the exact nature of HIV was not fully understood.

AZT – azidothymidine: AZT was the first approved treatment for HIV, sold under the names Retrovir and Retrovis. AZT use was a major breakthrough in AIDS therapy in the 1990s that significantly altered the course of the illness and helped destroy the notion that HIV was an instant death sentence.

Discrimination - “Discrimination is a sociological term referring to the treatment taken toward or against a person of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups” (Introduction to Sociology, W.W. Norton and Company)

Epidemic - an epidemic (epi- meaning "upon or above" and demic- meaning "people"), occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is "expected," based on recent experience.

HAART - Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy: HAART was developed in 1996 and it has been very successful in slowing the progression of HIV and prolonging life. The therapy involves using a combination of medicines. This is because HIV can adapt very quickly and become resistant to just one type of medication. Therefore a combination is required.

HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus: this is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and leaves a person living with the virus more susceptible to disease.

IPPF - International Planned Parenthood Federation: an independent, non-profit umbrella organization working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in 183 countries around the world.

NAM – an UK organization that works to change lives by sharing information about HIV and AIDS. NAM believe independent, clear and accurate information is vital in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

NAT – National Aids Trust: NAT is the UK's leading charity dedicated to transforming society's
response to HIV.

PEP - Post Exposure Prophylaxis: PEP is the medication taken 72 hours after exposure to HIV. It is sometimes possible, if caught early enough, to halt the development HIV. PEP involves taking anti-HIV medication for four weeks.

Stigma - an attitude, a process of devaluation that can be for a whole range of reasons including HIV status. Someone may also experience stigma for other reasons such as race, sexual orientation, weight, age and or gender. Stigma originates from a Greek word meaning mark or blemish.

THT – Terrance Higgins Trust: a campaigning and support-focused organization. Launched in 1982 after the death of Terry Higgins who was one of the first people to die from AIDS.