between the persons involved. The centers for disease control and prevention claims that no cases of HIV transmission are clearly attributable only to saliva, and states that there has been a number of reports of bites from people infected with HIV that did not spread the infection. Officials at the CDC do not keep statistics on such bites, as they do on cases in which people are stuck by needles that have been used by someone infected or presumed to be infected with HIV. If bites and saliva were important in the transmission of HIV, however, many more cases attributable to such facilities would have been identified among the cases reported to date.
Bites by children rarely draw blood or break the skin. Federal health recommendations say the type of educational and health care setting in which children with HIV are placed should be determined by their behavior, neurological development, and physical condition, and by the way they could be expected to interact with other children in a given setting. The recommendations call for the decision to be made on a case-by-case basis by a team including the child's doctor, parents or guardians, public health workers, and school officials.
bitter melon Momordica charantia is a member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family and a relative of squash, watermelon, muskmelon, and cucumber. It is also known by other names in various parts of the world: bitter gourd, balsam pear (United States), fu kwa (China), kerala (India), nigai uri (Japan), and ampalaya (Philippines). In the Amazon region and parts of Asia this plant's leaves and fruit are used as herbal medicines for a variety of purposes, including inducing abortions, treating fevers, infections, and colic; and acting as an antidiabetic. Scientists have extracted several active proteins from bitter melon, including MAP-30 and alpha- and beta-momorcharin. Tests have not been conducted on humans with any of these proteins, so claims about usefulness in HIV treatment are questionable. Bitter melon is often sold as an herb or pill at health food stores. People should be particularly careful about using bitter melon if they are hypoglycemic as it is used for diabetes treatment in China.
blackout A sudden loss of consciousness; condition characterized by a temporary loss of con sciousness and failure of vision due to reduced blood circulation to the brain; a period of total memory loss induced by prolonged ingestion of alcohol and drugs.
bladder A membranous sac or receptacle for a secretion, as the gallbladder. Used alone, the term commonly refers to the urinary bladder.
blanc fixe See barium sulfate.
bleach Ordinary chlorine bleach is highly effective in killing HIV within minutes. It is recommended for killing any virus or other microbe that may be present in such body fluids as blood, saliva, and stool. Mixed in water at a strength of 1:10 (one part bleach in ten parts of water), it can be applied to surfaces or on clothes.
bleomycin A chemotherapeutic drug used in the experimental treatment of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Specifically, any of a group of antibiotics produced by a strain of Streptomyces verticillus. Commonly used in conjunction with other chemotherapies for treatment of hodgkin's disease and non-hodgkin's lymphomas, squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, testicular carcinoma, and uterine cervix carcinoma. Fever, nausea, and vomiting are common side effects. Other side effects include occasionally fatal dose-related pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis, and severe skin reactions.
blind test A trial of a drug or form of therapy in which one group of patients will receive the drug or therapy being tested and another group will be given a placebo or ineffective therapy; neither group knows which is which. In a "double blind" test those conducting the test are also "blinded." Blind tests are designed to prevent patients' or testers' judgment from being influenced by their expectations.
blinding See blind test.
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