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Concept 23: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Concept 23: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
An HIV infected individual is said to have AIDS when he/she has developed certain opportunistic infections (for example, pneumonia, tuberculosis, yeast infections, or other infections) or when their CD4+ cell count drops below 200.
Bodies in the bloodstream that react to overcome bacterial and other agents that attack the body.
ARC (AIDS-Related Complex)
The development of HIV-related immunodeficiency conditions but not those considered to be AIDS.
AZT (Antiviral Drug Zidovudine)
The first well-used treatment for those infected with HIV. One of several drugs including ddI, ddC, d4T and 3TC which blocks a protein necessary for the reproduction of HIV. This type of drug is typically part of the "cocktail" of several drugs used to combat HIV.
CD4+ Cell
(also known as T helper cell) A type of cell that protects against infections and that instigates the bodyís immune response. HIV kills these cells so a high count usually means better health.
A sore or lesion commonly associated with syphilis.
A bacterial infection similar to gonorrhea that attacks the urinary tract and reproductive organs.
Genital Herpes
A viral infection that can attack any area of the body but often causes blisters on the genitals.
Genital Warts
Warts, caused by a virus, that grow in the genital/anal area (also called condyloma).
A bacterial infection of the mucous membranes including the eyes, throat, genitals, and other organs.
Hepatitis B
A virus found in body secretions that causes many symptoms including fever, nausea, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), and liver enlargement.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
A virus that causes a breakdown of the immune system among humans, resulting in the inability of the body to fight infections. It is a precursor to AIDS.
Kaposiís Sarcoma
A type of cancer evidenced by purple sores (tumors) on the skin.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
An infection of the urethra (urine passage) that can lead to infertility among women.
Protease Inhibitor
A drug which blocks an enzyme called protease that is important in the final states of HIV reproduction. Saquinavir was the first protease inhibitor (PI) approved by the FDA but now several are available. At least one is included in the "cocktail" of drugs used to treat HIV.
Pubic Lice
Lice that attach themselves to the base of pubic hairs. Also called crabs.
A blood test results indicating the presence of antibodies the immune system creates to fight disease. A seropositive status indicates that a person has antibodies to fight HIV and is HIV positive.
STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Diseases for which a primary method of transmission is sexual activity.
An infection caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacteria that travels in the bloodstream and embeds itself in the mucous membranes of the body, including those of the sexual organs.
T helper cells
A disease-fighting blood cell that is damaged by the HIV virus, same as CD4+ cell.
Viral Load
The level of virus (HIV) in the blood.

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