HIV/AIDS Glossary

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)

A rare disorder of the central nervous system caused by the John Cunningham virus (JCV). Most people are infected with JCV by 10 years of age; however, only people with weakened immune systems develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is primarily characterized by damage to myelin in the brain. Symptoms of PML vary and can include loss of coordination, loss of speech, vision problems, and progressive weakness in the arms and legs. In people with HIV, PML is an AIDS-defining condition.

Related Term(s): AIDS-Defining Condition, Central Nervous System, Myelin, Opportunistic Infection

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