Do your eyes glaze over when Doc starts explaining lactic acidosis? Boost your viral vocabulary with a glossary of HIV terms. Find ’em online and off.
Updated in March, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s searchable, user-friendly online glossary packs 1,600 basic and advanced terms. SFAF’s biannual Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS (BETA) sometimes includes shorter, more specialized lists.
BETA, PO Box 426182, San Francisco, CA 94142, 415.487.8060
Treatment-expert wannabes check out Gay Men’s Health Crisis’ searchable Web glossary (updated in 2003) for serious science in non-wonky lingo. Or snag a print copy. GMHC, 119 W. 24th St., New York, NY 10011, 212.367.1000
The UK site uses refreshingly simple wording in its 2003 online and print glossary, with phonetic spellings to ease pronunciation. Free to HIVers, but stateside shipping will set you back a pound (about $2).
NAM, Lincoln House, 1 Brixton Rd., London SW9 6DEUnited Kingdom
This women’s health group’s glossary isn’t the most current, but it dishes up an HIV dictionary of words women want, including G-spot and microbicides.
The U.S. government’s AIDSinfo glossary (updated September 2002) offers detailed science, but the jargon can be hard to digest. English and Spanish hard copies available free.
AIDSinfo, PO Box 6303, Rockville, MD 20849800.HIV.0440 (bilingual)
The venerable’s 2003 online glossary bursts with 3,500 definitions but mysteriously misses crucial side effects like lactic acidosis and lipodystrophy.
UNAIDS’ terminology database translates HIV buzzwords into French, Russian, Spanish and English.

The Encyclopedia of HIV and AIDS
by Stephen E. Stratton and Sarah Barbara Watstein If you must probe every HIV topic, try this 672-pager, published by Facts on File in July 2003. It costs a whopping $71.50, so look to your public library.