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HIV-1 and HIV-2 difference
Feb 25, 2004

Please what is the difference between HIV-1 and HIV-2. What are the symptoms of each of them.Is ARS the same thing as HIV-1

Response from Dr. Pierone

HIV-1 is the predominant form of virus worldwide that accounts for the AIDS pandemic. It was originally derived from a very similar retrovirus in Chimpanzees and made the leap into the human population in Africa in the 1920s as best we can tell from molecular epidemiologic studies.

HIV-2 is not common and this epidemic is centered in Western Africa. The virus is closely related to a retrovirus found in the Sooty Mangaby (African Green Monkey). HIV-2 is rare in the United States and tends to have a more benign natural history with slower damage of the immune system. It is also resistant to several of the medications that we use to treat HIV-1. These include AZT and NNRTIs like Viramune and Sustiva.

ARS stands for acute retroviral syndrome. The majority of persons infected with HIV will develop a severe viral type syndrome similar to mononucleosis.



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