Co-infection HIV-1 and HIV-2

Question

Hi, I was diagnosed positive two weeks ago to both HIV-1 and HIV-2. My first labs are 576 CD4 and 22.000 copies of HIV-1. I am currently living in Japan and unfortunately, I was told that there is no way to know the viral load of HIV-2. I am worried about the prognosis of being co-infected and the lack of knowledge or even ways to know the basics about my HIV-2 infection as the viral load. I would be grateful to get your comments about my case. Thanks and regards.

Answer

It is difficult to get HIV-2 viral load results outside of a research study or research labs. Your current HIV-1 status indicates that you have a normal CD4 count and a modest HIV-1 viral load level. As you may know, those with HIV-2 infection alone, have a much slower course of progression. The good news is that HIV-2 will in general respond to HIV-1 medications. There is no urgency to start HIV-1 meds at this point. But when needed, both viruses should respond. I would suggest getting a HIV-1 genotype test to determine whether the HIV-1 strain you have has any evidence of drug resistance.