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hiv 1 and hiv 2
Jan 4, 2003

hi there i have a question. what is the diffreces in a hiv 1 and a hiv 2 infected person. and also i got tested from my last sexual encounter about 4 months after it. it came back negative. IF i did or possibly do have this how will i know which type and so on. this is probley a silly question. but thank you for you're time.

Response from Mr. Kull

A person who is infected with either HIV 1 or 2 is considered to have HIV disease and at risk for developing AIDS-related illness. It appears that HIV-2 is less aggressive in its destruction of the immune system, but is fatal nonetheless.

HIV-2 infection is not a problem in the United States. 94 cases of HIV-2 infection have been reported in the U.S. (2001). HIV-2 is endemic in certain regions of Africa.

HIV-1 antibody tests will detect HIV-2 infections about 70% of the time. If risk for HIV-2 infection exists, HIV-2 specific antibody tests should be used. Unless you have been informed otherwise, you should assume that you have only been tested for HIV-1, as regular screening for HIV-2 is not widespread. Providers should inform you when screening for both types of HIV antibodies; however, asking your provider directly is probably your most reliable option.

If you live in the U.S., are at low-risk for infection, and have not had exposures to people at risk for HIV-2 infection (predominantly people from endemic regions in Africa), then there is no need for aggressive screening for HIV-2 infection.

RMK



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