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Treatment of HIV-2 infection

Geoffrey S Gottlieb, MD, PhD
Section Editor
John A Bartlett, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer Mitty, MD, MPH


Although HIV-1 infection is associated with most of the global AIDS pandemic, HIV-2 is an important cause of disease in West Africa, where it is endemic [1]. HIV-2 infection is also found in areas with cultural and socio-economic ties to West Africa, including the United States. Although multiple studies suggest that HIV-2 is generally less pathogenic than HIV-1, mortality rates among HIV-1 and HIV-2 infected patients with advanced disease appear similar when adjusting for CD4 cell count, age, and sex [1-15]. Thus, antiretroviral therapy plays an important role in patient management.

This topic will address the approach to treatment of the HIV-2 infected patient. The epidemiology, natural history, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of HIV-2 infection are discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "Epidemiology, transmission, natural history, and pathogenesis of HIV-2 infection" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of HIV-2 infection".)


As with HIV-1 infection, the following benchmarks are critical goals of antiretroviral therapy (ART) [16,17]:

Reduced morbidity and mortality

Improvement in quality of life

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 19, 2016.
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