Glossary of Terms

ADAP: The AIDS Drug Assistance Program – a US federal program that provides FDA-approved drugs to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS who have limited or no health insurance.

Adherence: Routine, prescribed use of treatment or regimen as recommended by medical provider. Also called compliance.

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – a set of symptoms and infections resulting from damage to the body’s immune system. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

ASO: AIDS service organization – any of numerous organizations like Frannie Peabody Center that provide medical or support services to people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Confidentiality: The assurance that private information will be kept private.

CD4 count: The number of CD4 lymphocytes per cubic millimeter of blood. It is a measure of the strength of the immune system and of how far an HIV infection has advanced. It can also be used to help predict the risk of HIV complications. Healthy CD4 counts in adults range from 500 to 1,500.

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – a US federal agency charged with tracking and investigating public health trends. The CDC is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration of DHHS (HRSA).

Client Financial Assistance: At Frannie Peabody Center, these are funds allocated for client use for medical expenses that are not reimbursable. Specific criteria apply.

DHHS: Department of Health and Human Services – the US federal department that administers federal programs dealing with human health and welfare.

Epidemic: A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

Food stamps: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a resource issued by the government to people with low income that can be used to purchase food at designated locations.

Grievance: A verbal or written complaint over something believed to be wrong or fair. Speak to a case manager if you would like to learn more about Frannie Peabody Center’s Grievance Policy.

HIPAA: Health Information Portability and Accountability Act – a US federal law passed in 1996 to help ensure the privacy of patient health information.

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus – a virus spread through contact with bodily fluids that affects the immune system’s ability to fight infections. HIV is the cause of AIDS.

HOPWA: Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS – a US federal program that provides funding to help support people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

HRSA: Health Resources and Services Administration – a US federal agency that helps provide health resources for medically underserved populations. For people living with HIV/AIDS, it provides services through Ryan White CARE Act program.

LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker – a mental health professional with a Masters Degree in Social Work and two years of supervised clinical training.

LGBTQ: An acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer

MaineCare: Also known as Medicaid. A federal/state program that provides funding for health insurance for people with low income. MaineCare also has a Special Benefit Waiver specifically for people living with HIV/AIDS.

MSM: Men who have sex with men. A term coined by the CDC to encompass gay men, bisexual men, and men who have sex with other men but do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual.

Opportunistic infections: Conditions that arise from a weakened immune system. These can include pneumonia, tuberculosis, weight loss and wasting, meningitis, syphilis, lymphoma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.

PEP: PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.

PLWHA: People Living With HIV/AIDS.

PrEP: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.

Ryan White CARE Act: A 1990 Act of Congress that funds primary care and support services for low income people living with HIV/AIDS who have no health insurance.

Serodiscordant: A term used to describe a couple in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not. Also called mixed status.

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance – a US federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.

SSI: Supplemental Security Income – a US federal program for low-income disabled people that provides cash benefits for food, clothing, and shelter.

STI/STD: Sexually Transmitted Infections/Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Used interchangeably.

STRMU: Short Term Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance – a program funded by HOPWA that helps prevent homelessness by providing short term housing funds for eligible people living with HIV/AIDS.

T-cell: A type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the body’s immune system and fights against invading organisms.

TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – the US government’s chief federal assistance program. It provides temporary cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children.

Viral load: A measure of the amount of HIV or other virus in blood and of the intensity of a viral infection. When copies of HIV cannot be detected by standard viral load tests, an HIV-positive person is said to have an undetectable viral load.