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Science. 1994 Sep 9;265(5178):1587-90.

Reduced rate of disease development after HIV-2 infection as compared to HIV-1.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.


Human immunodeficiency virus type-2 (HIV-2) is a close relative of the prototype acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus, HIV-1. HIV-2 is biologically similar to HIV-1, but information is lacking concerning clinical outcomes of HIV-2-infected individuals. From 1985 to 1993, a prospective clinical study was conducted in women with HIV-2 and HIV-1 infection to determine and compare rates of disease development. HIV-1-infected women had a 67% probability of AIDS-free survival 5 years after seroconversion in contrast with 100% for HIV-2-infected women. In addition to having significantly less HIV-related disease outcome in HIV-2 enrollees compared to HIV-1 enrollees, the rate of developing abnormal CD4+ lymphocyte counts with HIV-2 infection was also significantly reduced. This natural history study demonstrates that HIV-2 has a reduced virulence compared to HIV-1.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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