What are the differences between HIV-1 and HIV-2?
This is the same virus , which has genetic differences that can be classified into two different types, or “serotypes”. However, only seems genome by about 45% , and that in fact it is thought that HIV-2 “jumped” in Africa from apes to man.
The main functional difference between the two viruses is that the number of HIV-2 circulating in the body is smaller, because this type of virus evolves more slowly, hence, its incubation period is longer, although both serotypes finally end causing the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
As a result of the lower level of circulating virus in the case of HIV -2, which causes the disease is less aggressive and the possibility of transmission is lower, which explains their low diffusion.
What seem to HIV-1 and HIV-2?
The form of action in the body is the same, both attack our defenses, preventing our body “champion” of external aggression.
The way that both viruses are transmitted is also the same, although for the reasons given above, the probability of becoming infected with HIV-2 is less.
Incidence/prevalence by areas
HIV-1 is responsible for the global AIDS epidemic, while HIV-2 is endemic East African countries such as Senegal, Gambia, Liberia, Ghana or Nigeria.
Very few reported cases of HIV-2 outside these countries, but it is obvious that the current migration flows favor the expansion of its area of influence.
Why two different determinations.
The reason that two different determinations to detect both viruses are needed, is the fact that , as mentioned at the beginning , between the two serotypes are only 45% similar, so that the specificity of tests detection does not allow a single test to detect them both.