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of affinity. To date, the geographical distribution of AIDS has reflected the progression of the pandemic to the developing world. Projections of AIDS continue this trend—geographic variations are important. The range of proportional increases varies significantly by geographic area of affinity.

germanium Discovered in 1886, the mineral germanium, which has an atomic weight of 32 on the periodic table of elements, is not known to be essential to human health. It is a rare element that is never found free in nature. Yet in the early 1990s considerable research into its therapeutic effects on the immune system was carried out in several countries, including the United States and Japan. It must be stressed that organic germanium is not to be confused with inorganic germanium, which is used as a semiconductor and is highly toxic in minute concentrations. Germanium is currently being used as a drug in the treatment of pernicious anemia. There are several papers demonstrating that organic germanium compounds (germanium-32 in particular) have immunity-enhancing properties. It has been reported that two new organic germanium compounds inhibited the growth of certain mouse cancers. The compounds specifically enhance macrophage activity. A macrophage is a type of immune cell that kills cancer cells. In addition, researchers have been studying the effect of organic germanium compounds in the treatment of HIV. Some patients are claiming that the compound has been helpful; specific research has not been done to confirm these benefits. Claims made by patients and vitamin sales companies range from assertions that germanium increases the numbers and activity of natural killer cells to claims that it keeps white blood counts within normal ranges after surgery or during illness. Some medicinal plants such as Aloe vera, garlic, ginseng, comfrey, shiitake mushrooms, and chlorella contain high natural concentrations of germanium. More research is needed to determine the potential of both elemental germanium and the compound germanium-32.

germinal centers A collection of metabolically active lymphoblasts, macrophages, and plasma cells appearing within the primary follicle of lym-phoid tissues following antigenic stimulation. Germinal centers are the sites of antibody production and are populated mostly by b cells but include a few t cells and macrophages. As HIV infection progresses, the germinal centers gradually decay.

giant cells Large multinucleated cells sometimes seen in granulomatous reactions and thought to result from the fusion of macrophages. They are found in both kinds of marrow, especially red marrow, and spleen; also in tissues that are healing, around foreign bodies, and in the inflammatory reaction to tuberculosis.

Giardia Species of protozoan found in humans. Giardia lamblia causes giardiasis. Organisms are transmitted by ingestion of cysts in fecally contaminated matter (water or food) and are found worldwide. Giardia species can be passed through oral-genital and sexual contact and during food preparation. The organism is endemic in many day care centers in the United States. The most frequently observed symptoms of infection with G. lamblia are diarrhea, fever, cramps, anorexia, nausea, weakness, weight loss, abdominal distension, flatulence, greasy stools, belching, and vomiting. onset of symptoms begins about two weeks after exposure, and the disease may persist for up to two or three months. There is no known chemoprophy-laxis for giardiasis; treatment with metronidazole or albendazole is highly effective.

giardiasis An infection by the flagellate protozoan Giardia lamblia. Infection is spread through contaminated food or water. Many cases are asymptomatic. When present, symptoms include anorexia, cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea, weakness, weight loss, and vomiting. Giardiasis can be passed through oral-genital sexual contact and through food preparation.

gift-giver In the culture of barebacking, this is the person who eroticizes infecting or exposing another person to HIV by sharing his semen.

ginseng Ginseng root is an herb that has been used extensively throughout Southeast Asia and

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