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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
HIV/AIDS Programs

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Glossary of Terms

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


NOTE: A number of the following HIV/AIDS research and treatment terms listed below link the user to the AIDSinfo Glossary. Also available: AIDSInfo Glossary in Spanish (Glosario de infoSIDA).

A

Administrative or Fiscal Agent
Entity that functions to assist the grantee, consortium, or other planning body in carrying out administrative activities (e.g., disbursing program funds, developing reimbursement and accounting systems, developing Requests for Proposals [RFPs], monitoring contracts).

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Federal agency within HHS that supports research designed to improve the outcomes and quality of health care, reduce its costs, address patient safety and medical errors, and broaden access to effective services.

AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)

AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
Administered by States and authorized under Part B of the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act. Provides FDA-approved medications to low-income individuals with HIV disease who have limited or no coverage from private insurance or Medicaid. ADAP funds may also be used to purchase insurance for uninsured Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients as long as the insurance costs do not exceed the cost of drugs through ADAP and the drugs available through the insurance program at least match those offered through ADAP.

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
A disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus.

AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC)
Regional centers providing education and training for primary care professionals and other AIDS-related personnel. Part F (AETC)s are authorized under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and administered by the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Training and Technical Assistance (DTT).

AIDS Service Organization (ASO)
An organization that provides primary medical care and/or support services to populations infected with and affected by HIV disease.

Antiretroviral 
A substance that fights against a retrovirus, such as HIV. (See Retrovirus)

C

CADR (see Ryan White Program Data Report, RDR)

Capacity 
Core competencies that substantially contribute to an organization's ability to deliver effective HIV/AIDS primary medical care and health-related support services. Capacity development activities should increase access to the HIV/AIDS service system and reduce disparities in care among underserved PLWH in the EMA.

CARE Act (Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act)
Federal legislation created to address the unmet health care and service needs of people living with HIV Disease (PLWH) disease and their families. It was enacted in 1990 and reauthorized in 1996 and 2000. Reauthorized in 2006 as the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act.

Community-based Organization (CBO)
An organization that provides services to locally defined populations, which may or may not include populations infected with or affected by HIV disease.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Federal agency within HHS that administers disease prevention programs including HIV/AIDS prevention.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Federal agency within HHS that administers the Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Chief Elected Official (CEO) 
The official recipient of Part A or Part B Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds. For Part A, this is usually a city mayor, county executive, or chair of the county board of supervisors. For Part B, this is usually the governor. The CEO is ultimately responsible for administering all aspects of their title's CARE Act funds and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

Co-morbidity
A disease or condition, such as mental illness or substance abuse, co-existing with HIV disease.

Combination Drugs

Community Based Dental Partnership Program (CBDPP)
The program within the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Community Based Programs that delivers HIV/AIDS dental care while simultaneously training dental professionals in these areas in order to expand community capacity to deliver HIV oral health care.

Community Forum or Public Meeting
A small-group method of collecting information from community members in which a community meeting is used to provide a directed but highly interactive discussion. Similar to but less formal than a focus group, it usually includes a larger group; participants are often self-selected (i.e., not randomly selected to attend).

Comprehensive Planning
The process of determining the organization and delivery of HIV services. This strategy is used by planning bodies to improve decision-making about services and maintain a continuum of care for PLWH.

Community Health Centers
See Health Centers.

Consortium/HIV Care Consortium
A regional or statewide planning entity established by many State grantees under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to plan and sometimes administer Part B services. An association of health care and support service agencies serving PLWHA under Part B.

Continuous Quality Improvement
An ongoing process that involves organization members in monitoring and evaluating programs to continuously improve service delivery. CQI seeks to prevent problems and to maximize the quality of care by identifying opportunities for improvement.

Continuum of Care
 
An approach that helps communities plan for and provide a full range of emergency and long-term service resources to address the various needs of PLWHA.

Core Services 
Grantee expenditures are limited to core medical services, support services, and administrative expenses. See Core Services and Support Services, which are also listed in the Ryan White legislation as follows: Part A (2604(c), Part B (2612(b), and Part C (2651(c).

CPCRA (Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS) 
Community-based clinical trials network that obtains evidence to guide clinicians and PLWHA on the most appropriate use of available HIV therapies.

Cultural Competence
The knowledge, understanding, and skills to work effectively with individuals from differing cultural backgrounds.

D

Data Terms 
For definitions of terms used in the Ryan White Services Report (RSR) for reporting client level data, see the Data Dictionary.

Division of Community Based Programs (DCBP) 
The division within HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau that is responsible for administering Part C, Part D, and the HIV/AIDS Dental Programs (the Dental Reimbursement Program (DRP) and the Community-Based Dental Partnership Program (CBDPP).

Division of Science and Policy (DSP)
The office within HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau that administers the Part F (SPNS) Program, HIV/AIDS evaluation studies, policy, and data reporting.

Division of Service Systems (DSS)
 
The division within HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau that administers Part A and Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

Division of Training and Technical Assistance (DTTA) 
The division within HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau that administers the AIDS Education and Training Centers (Part F) and technical assistance and training activities of the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

Drug Resistance

E

Early Intervention Services (EIS)
Activities designed to identify individuals who are HIV-positive and get them into care as quickly as possible. As funded through Parts A and B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, includes outreach, counseling and testing, information and referral services. Under Part C Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, also includes comprehensive primary medical care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) 
Geographic areas highly-impacted by HIV/AIDS that are eligible to receive Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A funds To be an eligible EMA, an area must have reported more than 2,000 AIDS cases in the most recent 5 years and have a population of at least 50,000.  (See also Transitional Grant Area, TGA.)

Entry Inhibitor

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (EIA)

Epidemic
A disease that occurs clearly in excess of normal expectation and spreads rapidly through a demographic segment of the human population. Epidemic diseases can be spread from person to person or from a contaminated source such as food or water.

Epidemiologic Profile
A description of the current status, distribution, and impact of an infectious disease or other health-related condition in a specified geographic area.

Epidemiology 
The branch of medical science that studies the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population.

Exposure Category
In describing HIV/AIDS cases, same as transmission categories; how an individual may have been exposed to HIV, such as injecting drug use, male-to-male sexual contact, and heterosexual contact.

F

Family Centered Care
A model in which systems of care under Ryan White Part D are designed to address the needs of PLWHA and affected family members as a unit, providing or arranging for a full range of services. Family structures may range from the traditional, biological family unit to non-traditional family units with partners, significant others, and unrelated caregivers.

Financial Status Report (FSR - Form 269) 
A report that is required to be submitted within 90 days after the end of the budget period that serves as documentation of the financial status of grants according to the official accounting records of the grantee organization.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
Federal agency within HHS responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs, biologics, vaccines, and medical devices used (among others) in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The FDA also works with the blood banking industry to safeguard the nation's blood supply.

Fusion Inhibitor

G

Genotypic Assay

Grantee
The recipient of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds responsible for administering the award.
Health Care for the Homeless Health Center
A grantee funded under section 330(h) of the Public Health Service Act to provide primary health and related services to homeless individuals.

H

Health Centers
Community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care. These include low income populations, the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing.

Health Insurance Continuity Program (HICP) 
A program primarily under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that makes premium payments, co-payments, deductibles, and/or risk pool payments on behalf of a client to purchase/maintain health insurance coverage.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 
The agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers various primary care programs for the medically underserved, including the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

High-Risk Insurance Pool 
A State health insurance program that provides coverage for individuals who are denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition or who have health conditions that would normally prevent them from purchasing coverage in the private market.

Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)
HIV treatment using multiple antiretroviral drugs to reduce viral load to undetectable levels and maintain/increase CD4 levels.

HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) 
The bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that is responsible for administering the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program 
The program within the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Community Based Programs that assists with uncompensated costs incurred in providing oral health treatment to PLWHA.

HIV Disease 
Any signs, symptoms, or other adverse health effects due to the human immunodeficiency virus.

Home and Community Based Care
A category of eligible services that States may fund under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) 
A program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides funding to support housing for PLWHA and their families.

HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
The Federal agency responsible for administering community development, affordable housing, and other programs including Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA).

I

Incidence 
The number of new cases of a disease that occur during a specified time period.

Incidence Rate 
The number of new cases of a disease or condition that occur in a defined population during a specified time period, often expressed per 100,000 persons. AIDS incidence rates are often expressed this way.

Injection Drug User (IDU)

Integrase

Integrase Inhibitor

Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) 
A written agreement between a governmental agency and an outside agency that provides HIV services.

L

Lead Agency 
The agency within a Part B consortium that is responsible for contract administration; also called a fiscal agent (an incorporated consortium sometimes serves as the lead agency)

M

Medicaid Spend-down 
A process whereby an individual who meets the Medicaid medical eligibility criteria, but has income that exceeds the financial eligibility ceiling, may "spend down" to eligibility level. The individual accomplishes spend-down by deducting accrued medically related expenses from countable income. Most State Medicaid programs offer an optional category of eligibility, the "medically needy" eligibility category, for these individuals.

Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI)
A national HHS initiative that provides special resources to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS within communities of color. Enacted to address the disproportionate impact of the disease in such communities. Formerly referred to as the Congressional Black Caucus Initiative because of that body's leadership in its development.

Multiply Diagnosed
A person having multiple morbidities (e.g., substance abuse and HIV infection) (see co-morbidity).

Mutation

N

Needs Assessment 
A process of collecting information about the needs of PLWHA (both those receiving care and those not in care), identifying current resources (Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and other) available to meet those needs, and determining what gaps in care exist.

Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NNRTI)

Nucleoside Analog (Nucleoside Analog Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI)

Nucleotide


O

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
The office within the executive branch of the Federal government that prepares the President's annual budget, develops the Federal government's fiscal program, oversees administration of the budget, and reviews government regulations.

Opportunistic Infection (OI) or Opportunistic Condition

An infection or cancer that occurs in persons with weak immune systems due to HIV, cancer, or immunosuppressive drugs such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy. Examples include Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS); Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP); cryptosporidiosis; histoplasmosis; toxoplasmosis; other parasitic, viral, and fungal infections; and some types of cancers.

P

Part A
The part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (formerly, Title I) that provides emergency assistance to localities (EMAs) disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Part B
The part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (formerly, Title II) that provides funds to States and territories for primary health care (including HIV treatments through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, ADAP) and support services that enhance access to care to PLWHA and their families.

Part C
The part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (formerly, Title III) that supports outpatient primary medical care and early intervention services to PLWHA through grants to public and private non-profit organizations. Part C also funds capacity development and planning grants to prepare programs to provide EIS services.

Part D
The part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (formerly, Title IV) that supports coordinated services and access to research for children, youth, and women with HIV disease and their families.

Part F (AETC) (AIDS Education and Training Center)
Regional centers providing education and training for primary care professionals and other AIDS-related personnel. Part F (AETC)s are authorized under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and administered by the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Training and Technical Assistance (DTTA).

Part F (Community Based Dental Partnership Program)
The program within the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Community Based Programs that delivers HIV/AIDS dental care while simultaneously training dental professionals in these areas in order to expand community capacity to deliver HIV oral health care.

Part F (HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program)
The program within the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Division of Community Based Programs that assists with uncompensated costs incurred in providing oral health treatment to PLWHA.

Part F (SPNS) (Special Projects of National Significance)
A health services demonstration, research, and evaluation program funded under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to identify innovative models of HIV care. Part F (SPNS) projects are awarded competitively.

Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG)

People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)

Phenotypic Assay

PHS (Public Health Service) 
An administrative entity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Planning Council 
A planning body appointed or established by the Chief Elected Official of an EMA whose basic function is to assess needs, establish a plan for the delivery of HIV care in the EMA, and establish priorities for the use of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A funds.

Planning Process
Steps taken and methods used to collect information, analyze and interpret it, set priorities, and prepare a plan for rational decision making.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Prevalence
The total number of persons in a defined population living with a specific disease or condition at a given time (compared to incidence, which is the number of new cases).

Prevalence Rate 
The proportion of a population living at a given time with a condition or disease (compared to the incidence rate, which refers to new cases).

Priority Setting 
The process used to establish priorities among service categories, to ensure consistency with locally identified needs, and to address how best to meet each priority.

Prophylaxis 
Treatment to prevent the onset of a particular disease (primary prophylaxis) or recurrence of symptoms in an existing infection that has previously been brought under control (secondary prophylaxis).

Protease

Protease Inhibitor

Q

Quality
The degree to which a health or social service meets or exceeds established professional standards and user expectations.

Quality Assurance (QA) 
The process of identifying problems in service delivery, designing activities to overcome these problems, and following up to ensure that no new problems have developed and that corrective actions have been effective. The emphasis is on meeting minimum standards of care.

Quality Improvement (QI) 
Also called Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). An ongoing process of monitoring and evaluating activities and outcomes in order to continuously improve service delivery. CQI seeks to prevent problems and to maximize the quality of care.

R

Reflectiveness 
The extent to which the demographics of the planning body's membership look like the demographics of the epidemic in the service area.

Reliability
The consistency of a measure or question in obtaining very similar or identical results when used repeatedly; for example, if you repeated a blood test three times on the same blood sample, it would be reliable if it generated the same results each time.

Representative
Term used to indicate that a sample is similar to the population from which it was drawn, and therefore can be used to make inferences about that population.

Resistance

Request for Proposals (RFP)
An open and competitive process for selecting providers of services (sometimes called RFA or Request for Application).

Resource Allocation
The Part A planning council responsibility to assign Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programt amounts or percentages to established priorities across specific service categories, geographic areas, populations, or subpopulations.

Retrovirus

Reverse Transcriptase


Risk Factor or Risk Behavior
Behavior or other factor that places a person at risk for disease; for HIV/AIDS, this includes such factors as male-to-male sexual contact, injection drug use, and commercial sex work.

Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
A laboratory technique that can detect and quantify the amount of HIV (viral load) in a person's blood or lymph nodes.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services Report (RSR)
Data collection and reporting system for reporting information on programs and clients served (Client Level Data).

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Act of 2009 (Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program)

Enacted in 2009, this legislation reauthorized the Ryan White Program, formerly called the Ryan White CARE Act and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006.

Ryan White Program Data Report (RDR)
Formerly known as the CARE Act Data Report (CADR), a provider-based report generating aggregate client, provider, and service data for all Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program components. Reports information on all clients who receive at least one service during the reporting period.

S

Salvage Therapy
A treatment effort for people who are not responding to, or cannot tolerate the preferred, recommended treatments for a particular condition. In the context of HIV infection, drug treatments that are used or studied in individuals who have failed one or more HIV drug regimens. In this case, failed refers to the inability to achieve or sustain low viral load levels.

Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need (SCSN) 
A written statement of need for the entire State developed through a process designed to collaboratively identify significant HIV issues and maximize Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program coordination. The SCSN process is convened by the Part B grantee, with equal responsibility and input by all programs.

Section 340B Drug Discount Program 
A program administered by the HRSA's Bureau of Primary Care, Office of Pharmacy Affairs established by Section 340B of the Veteran's Health Care Act of 1992, which limits the cost of drugs to Federal purchasers and to certain grantees of Federal agencies.

Seroconversion 
The development of detectable antibodies to HIV in the blood as a result of infection. It normally takes several weeks to several months for antibodies to the virus to develop after HIV transmission. When antibodies to HIV appear in the blood, a person will test positive in the standard ELISA test for HIV.

Seroprevalence 
The number of persons in a defined population who test HIV-positive based on HIV testing of blood specimens. (Seroprevalence is often presented either as a percent of the total specimens tested or as a rate per 100,000 persons tested.)

Service Gaps
All the service needs of all PLWH except for the need for primary health care for individuals who know their status but are not in care. Service gaps include additional need for primary health care for those already receiving primary medical care ("in care").

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) (see Part F)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 
Federal agency within HHS that administers programs in substance abuse and mental health.

Support Services 
Grantee expenditures are limited to core medical services, support services, and administrative expenses. See Core Services and Support Services, which are also listed in the Ryan White legislation as follows: Part A (2604(c), Part B (2612(b), and Part C (2651(c).cases).

Surveillance 
An ongoing, systematic process of collecting, analyzing and using data on specific health conditions and diseases (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance system for AIDS cases).

Surveillance Report
A report providing information on the number of reported cases of a disease such as AIDS, nationally and for specific sub-populations.

T

Target Population 
A population to be reached through some action or intervention; may refer to groups with specific demographic or geographic characteristics.

Technical Assistance (TA)
The delivery of practical program and technical support to the CARE Act community. TA is to assist grantees, planning bodies, and affected communities in designing, implementing, and evaluating CARE Act-supported planning and primary care service delivery systems.

Transitional Grant Area (TGA)
Geographic areas highly-impacted by HIV/AIDS that are eligible to receive Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A funds To be an eligible TGA, an area must have reported at least 1,000 but fewer than 2,000 new AIDS cases in the most recent 5 years. (See also Eligible Metropolitan Area, EMA.)

Transmission Category 
A grouping of disease exposure and infection routes; in relation to HIV disease, exposure groupings include, for example, men who have sex with men, injection drug use, heterosexual contact, and perinatal transmission.

U

Unmet Need 
The unmet need for primary health services among individuals who know their HIV status but are not receiving primary health care.

V

Viral Load
In relation to HIV, the quantity of HIV RNA in the blood. Viral load is used as a predictor of disease progression. Viral load test results are expressed as the number of copies per milliliter of blood plasma.

Viral Tropism

Viremia

W

Western Blot
A test for detecting the specific antibodies to HIV in a person's blood. It is commonly used to verify positive EIA tests.

Wild Type Virus