Definitions for frequently used terms

ARV - Antiretrovirals
ART - Antiretroviral Treatment
HCP - Health Care Provider
PrEP - Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
PEP - Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
PMTCT - Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
Antiretrovirals are drugs. They are treatment that you take to reduce the amount of HIV in your body and help you stay healthy.
CD4 Count
Healthy adults usually have CD4 cell counts of 500 cells/ml or higher. Without HIV medicine too many cells are destroyed by the virus. The lower your CD4 count, the harder it is for you to stay healthy. Click here to learn more about what CD4 numbers mean.
CD4 (Soldier Cells)
CD4 cells, also known as CD4+ T cells or soldier cells, are an important part of your immune system. CD4 cells fight off infections and keep you from getting sick.
PEP stands for Post–Exposure Prophylaxis. You start to take it after a single event that may have exposed you to HIV. PEP is used in emergency situations.
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmissions (PMTCT) programme supports mothers and their babies to:
- Receive antenatal services and HIV testing during pregnancy.
- Have access to Antiretroviral Treatment (ART).
- Practice safe childbirth practices and appropriate infant feeding.
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This is medicine you can take to prevent getting HIV from sex. PrEP is designed to be used in a planned way.
When a viral load test shows 50 copies/ml or less of HIV in your blood you will have an Undetectable viral load.
This means you can’t pass your HIV on to your sexual partner or unborn baby.
Viral Load
The amount of HIV found in your blood.
Viral Load Suppression
When your viral load test shows you that there is 50 copies/ml or less in your blood. Click here to learn more about viral load suppression.
Viral Load Test
A test that tells you how much HIV is in 1 ml of your blood.