known to have, in standard medical parlance, "a condition incompatible with life." Abortions can be induced by drugs, suction, scraping of the lining of the uterus, injection of a sterile hypertonic solution into the amniotic cavity, or surgery. Premature terminations of pregnancy that occur spontaneously are called miscarriages. Prior to the 1970s abortions were often done in unsanitary offices, in private homes, or in other nonmedical locations. Currently some states require a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed, particularly for women below the age of 18. The drug mifepristone (also known as Mifeprex or RU-486) was approved in 2000 for usage in the United States but so far has been little used.

abscess Pus-filled cavity in any part of the body that occurs as a result of disintegration or displacement of tissue. A serious complication of pelvic


abstinence Going without or refraining voluntarily, particularly from indulgence in food, alcoholic beverages, or sexual activity (some people include masturbation in this definition, others do not). Sexual abstinence is an option people have exercised for a variety of reasons ranging from moral or religious conviction to fear of pregnancy or disease. Some people, including some religious orders, practice celibacy, or permanent abstinence from all sexual activity (historically, the term celibacy has also been used to mean simply the state of being unmarried). Some couples practice abstinence as a means of contraception: In "natural" family planning, periodic abstinence is practiced during the fertile period of the woman's menstrual cycle.

Sexual abstinence is one means of avoiding aids and other sexually transmitted diseases. Some people opt never to have sex with anyone before or outside of permanent, exclusive sexual relationships, rather than renounce sex entirely; but for society generally, as history and everyday observation show, abstinence has not been found to be a practical or effective means of preventing infection. Today, emphasis is placed on changing sexual behavior and reducing the risk of infection through sexual contact. The positive aspects of safe sex are stressed instead of emphasizing the negative aspects of unsafe sex.

ABT-378 See lopinavir.

ABV A standard cancer chemotherapy treatment. It is made up of the three drugs adriamycin, bleomycin, and vincristine. It is given intravenously.

accelerated approval The abbreviated regulatory process under which the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA) grants conditional marketing approval for a new drug on the basis of early clinical testing data. Accelerated approval allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to bring to market as quickly as possible drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS and is based on relatively short-term evidence of laboratory "markers" of effectiveness (see surrogate markers). The agency requires that drug makers provide more substantial proof of effectiveness after drugs are on the market, according to the more stringent traditional criteria, including adequate information on definitive endpoints such as disease progression and mortality rates. It could withdraw approval if such evidence is not forthcoming. ACT-UP activists were the main push behind the development of FDA guidelines that allowed accelerated approval beginning in 1992; ddl and ddC were the first drugs brought to market through this process. Some AIDS activists later questioned the wisdom of accelerated drug approvals. They complained that the accelerated approval caused corporate pharmaceutical giants to put on the market products that had safety problems before they could be discovered in clinical settings. Accelerated approval has adapted to change over the years since it began. endpoints for clinical studies have changed to reflect the control that protease inhibitors have had on AIDS. Studies used to evaluate drugs for accelerated approval must involve at least 400-500 patients over a period of at least six months of taking the drug with no outstanding safety issues.

100 Pregnancy Tips

100 Pregnancy Tips

Prior to planning pregnancy, you should learn more about the things involved in getting pregnant. It involves carrying a baby inside you for nine months, caring for a child for a number of years, and many more. Consider these things, so that you can properly assess if you are ready for pregnancy. Get all these very important tips about pregnancy that you need to know.

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