Lipids—A lippy word for fats or oils—principally cholesterol and triglycerides—found in the blood. You can keep cholesterol and triglycerides levels on the level by exercising, checking your diet with a nutritionist and quitting cigarettes (they contribute to heart disease risk). Doc may also prescribe drugs to flatten high fat counts. The two most common forms of cholesterol are HDL and LDL.

HDL, or high-density lipoprotein—This goody-two-shoes cholesterol scavenges fat from blood vessels and other bodily haunts and returns it to the liver for use or destruction. You want high levels of this one. An HDL score over 65 seems to reduce heart-disease risk; under 35 signals heightened hazard.

LDL—When bad cholesterol happens to good people. The “L” means “low” (or “lousy”), and you want it to lie low in your blood. HDL’s evil twin, it stuffs cholesterol into blood vessels and other locales, causing clogging and hardening. An LDL value of 70 is touted as “ideal,” but most docs aim for 100 or 130.

Triglycerides—The main fat in food—and in our own bodies. Some HIV meds (especially some PIs) can spike blood levels, requiring frequent testing—because high triglycerides promote heart disease and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis. (Normal levels range from 50 to 150.) Reyataz (atazanavir, see “New Meds on the Shelf") holds promise for HIVers who want HAART that won’t send their lipid profile flying high.