Play 0:00 A-D E-I J-O P-Z A-D Return to top Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) The last stage of HIV, during which the immune system cannot fight off infections and diseases. Acute Sharp and severe, and/or lasting a short time. Antibiotic A medicine such as penicillin used to fight bacterial infections. Antibody A protein produced by the blood which helps protect the body from viruses and bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance Resistance to certain antibiotics. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) Combination of medicines used to treat a retrovirus such as HIV. Antiviral medications Medications used to treat viral infections, and which can be used to prevent recurrent outbreaks of herpes or speed the healing of herpes outbreaks. Aqueous crystalline penicillin A penicillin preparation used to treat neurosyphilis and ocular syphilis. Aseptic meningitis Inflammation of the meninges which can be caused by exposure to HSV-1 and HSV-2. Benzathine penicillin Special preparation of penicillin used to treat syphilis. Bladder A sac in the lower pelvis where the body stores urine. Candidiasis A common fungal infection of the vagina, also called "yeast" infection. Cervical cancer Cancer of the cervix which can be caused by sexual contact with a person infected with HPV. Cervical dysplasia Pre-cancerous condition in the cervix caused by HPV infection. Cervix Part of the female anatomy, the cervix is the narrow opening between the vagina and uterus. Chancre A sore caused by syphilis. Chronic Occurring frequently, or over a long period of time. Cirrhosis Scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage. Condyloma lata Large, raised, gray or white lesions that can develop on the genitals during secondary syphilis. Cone biopsy A procedure in which a cone-shaped wedge of tissue is removed from the cervix. Congenital syphilis Syphilis passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child. Corpora cavernosa Two spongy tubes located in the penis which become engorged with blood during sexual arousal, causing the penis to become erect. Cryosurgery A procedure in which tissue is frozen to destroy abnormal cells. Cryptococcosis An opportunistic infection which may indicate the presence of HIV. Culture test A test that detects evidence of certain types of infection. Cytomegalovirus A virus in the herpes family passed through bodily fluids. Dementia Loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) Life-threatening condition caused when untreated gonorrhea spreads to the blood. DNA test A test which analyzes DNA for evidence of diseases such as STIs. Dual therapy Using two antibiotic medications simultaneously. E-I Return to top Early latent syphilis Latent syphilis within the first 12 months of initial infection. Ectopic pregnancy A pregnancy in which an egg attaches somewhere outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube. Ejaculation The discharge of semen through the penis. Electrocautery A procedure which burns away abnormal tissue with an electric current. Endometrium The mucous membrane lining the uterus which thickens during the menstrual cycle, preparing for possible implantation of a fertilized egg. Epididymis Part of the male reproductive anatomy, a long coiled tube in each testicle where sperm is stored. Erection The state of the penis when it is filled with blood and becomes rigid during sexual arousal. Estrogen Female hormone produced by the ovaries. Together with progesterone, this hormone controls the development of a woman's body, including her breasts, body shape, and body hair. Excision The surgical removal of a foreign body or tissue. Fallopian tubes In the female reproductive anatomy, these are the tubes through which an egg travels between the ovaries and the uterus during a woman's monthly cycle. Fibrosis The thickening and scarring of connective tissue. Genital herpes STI characterized by sores on the genitals, buttocks, and/or thighs, caused by the herpes simplex virus. Genital HPV types The strains of HPV that cause an STI, divided into low-risk HPV types and high-risk HPV types. Genital secretions Liquid substances formed by and discharged from the genitals. Genital warts Small bumps or groups of bumps which can appear in the genital area of men and women within weeks or months after sexual contact with a person infected with HPV. Genitals External parts of the male and female reproductive systems. Gonorrhea Common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. Groin The region between the genitals and inner thigh. Hepatitis B A viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Herpes A common infection characterized by contagious sores, caused by the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. Herpes lesions An abnormal lump, bump, ulcer, or sore on the skin resulting from infection from the herpes virus. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) A virus which causes herpes, a common infection characterized by contagious sores. High-risk genital HPV types Strains of HPV that are linked to certain cancers in both men and women, most notably cervical cancer in women. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) A virus transmitted through body fluids that attacks cells in the body's immune system. Left untreated, it can lead to AIDS. Hormones Substances that affect sexual development and reproduction, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. HPV DNA test Test for the HPV (high-risk or carcinogenic types) most likely to cause cervical cancer by analyzing DNA in cervical cells. The test can be done at the same time as the Pap test. HSV-1 Type of HSV which causes either genital or oral herpes. HSV-2 Type of HSV which causes only genital herpes. Human papillomavirus (HPV) A virus that causes abnormal tissue growth (warts) and is often linked with some types of cancer. Immune system The group of organs and cells that defend the body against infection or disease. Infertility Inability to conceive children. Infusion The slow injection of a substance into a vein or tissue. Intravenous Administered into a vein. J-O Return to top Jaundice Yellowing of the eyes or skin. Laser therapy The use of lasers in surgery and other medical treatment. Late latent syphilis Latent syphilis beyond 12 months of the initial infection. Latent (hidden) stage of syphilis Stage of syphilis where the infection is present, but without any visible signs or symptoms of the disease. Lesion An abnormal lump, bump, ulcer, or sore on the skin. Liver capsule A layer of connective tissue surrounding the liver and ensheathing the hepatic artery, portal vein, and bile ducts within the liver. Liver failure The inability of the liver to perform its normal function as part of normal physiology. Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) Treatment in which abnormal tissue is excised by use of electricity. Low-risk genital HPV types Strains of HPV that tend to cause genital warts. Lymph nodes One of several bean-shaped organs in the lymphatic system found throughout the body, whose main function is disease protection. Lymphoma Cancer that develops in cells of the lymphatic system. Meninges The membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. Menstrual cycle Monthly event in female reproduction during which an ovary releases an egg, which travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. If fertilization fails to occur, the lining of the uterus is shed during menstruation. Menstruation Part of a woman's monthly cycle during which the thick bloody lining of the uterus is shed after an egg fails to be fertilized. Metronidazole An oral antibiotic used to treat trichomoniasis. Mucous membrane The tissues that line internal organs and body cavities not covered by skin. Neonatal herpes Herpes passed to a baby during pregnancy or childbirth. Nervous system The network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body. Neurosyphilis The invasion of the nervous system by syphilis. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) Sensitive and accurate diagnostic tests for chlamydia which involve specimens from urine samples and vaginal swabs. Ocular syphilis Syphilis that has spread to the eyes. Opportunistic infections Infections that occur more frequently and more severely in people with weakened immune systems. Oral herpes Cold sores on the mouth or face caused by the herpes simplex virus. Ova Eggs produced by the ovaries. Ovaries Part of the female reproductive system. A woman has two ovaries, which produce ova, or eggs, and the hormones known as estrogen and progesterone. Ovulation The part of a woman's monthly cycle during which an egg can be fertilized by a sperm in the uterus. P-Z Return to top Pap test A sample of cells collected from the cervix tested for abnormalities such as cervical cancer. Paralysis Complete or partial loss of movement and/or sensation. Parasite An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and takes its nourishment at the host's expense. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Serious condition occurring when an untreated sexually transmitted infection spreads to the uterus and fallopian tubes. Penicillin An antibiotic used to treat syphilis, among other diseases. Penis External male genital organ. Perihepatitis (Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome) Inflammation of the liver capsule resulting from PID caused by chlamydia. Pneumonia Lung infection caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal organisms. Primary stage of syphilis The first stage of syphilis, characterized by the appearance of one or more chancres, or sores. Proctitis Inflammation of the rectum. Progesterone Female hormone produced by the ovaries. Together with estrogen, this hormone controls the development of a woman's body, including her breasts, body shape, body hair, and menstrual cycle. Prostate A gland surrounding the neck of the bladder in males. Prostatitis Inflammation of the prostate. Reactive arthritis A type of arthritis that occurs in both men and women as a reaction to infection in the body. Rectum The final section of the large intestine, terminating at the anus. Retrovirus A type of virus, such as HIV, that harms the immune system. Salmonella septicemia Serious bloodstream infection caused by the Salmonella bacteria. Screening Checking for a disease when there may be no symptoms of the disease. Scrotum A pouch of skin containing the testicles. Secondary stage of syphilis Stage of syphilis characterized by skin rashes and lesions in the mucous membranes. Seizure A sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Semen Reproductive fluid ejected from the penis during intercourse, containing sperm. Seminal vesicles Part of the male reproductive anatomy, these are a pair of glands that open into the vas deferens and secrete many of the components of semen. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Sperm Male reproductive cell, found in semen. Spermicide A substance that kills sperm, used as a contraceptive. Suppressive therapy Medication used to prevent outbreaks of herpes and to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others. Syphilis A bacterial sexually transmitted infection that can lead to serious complications if not treated. T-cells Short for thymus cells, these white blood cells play an important part in immunity from disease. Tenosynovitis Painful inflammation of tendons and tendon sheaths. Tertiary syphilis A rare but serious stage of syphilis that can affect multiple organ systems. Testicles Two oval-shaped organs located inside the scrotum which produce sperm and testosterone, the male hormone. Testosterone The male sex hormone important for sexual and reproductive development. Tinidazole Oral antibiotic used to treat trichomoniasis. Toxoplasmosis An infectious disease caused by a parasite that spreads from animals to humans. Trichomoniasis (trich) Caused by a parasite, trich is the most common curable STI. Tuberculosis A highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. Tunica albuginea A tough, fibrous layer of connective tissue encasing the urethra and corpora cavernosa inside the penis. Ulcers Painful sores. Urethra Part of the male or female anatomy that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Urethritis Inflammation of the urethra. Uterus Also called womb, the uterus is an inverted pear-shaped muscular organ of the female reproductive system in which a baby grows. Vagina The muscular canal that connects the cervix to the outside of the body, allowing for menstruation, intercourse, and childbirth. Vas deferens Part of the male reproductive anatomy, a long, muscular tube which transports sperm from the epididymis to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation. Vesicles Small blisters seen during an outbreak of herpes. Viral culture test A diagnostic test for viral infection. Viral load The amount virus in the blood or body fluids. Visual acuity Sharpness of vision. Vulva External part of the female genitals.