Natural History and Clinical Features of HIV-2 Infection
A summary of the key literature on the virological, immunological, and clinical progression of HIV-2-infected individuals, with emphasis on the contrast between HIV-2 and HIV-1.
Natural History and Viral Load
The single most distinguishing feature of HIV-2 compared to HIV-1 is its much lower viral load set point. There are no data on the viral loads achieved during the acute phase of HIV-2 infection and less data than for HIV-1 on the viral loads maintained during chronic infection, limiting the precision of viral load estimates at a population level. The viral loads of individuals with untreated chronic HIV-2 infection show considerable variability. While a minority of those infected with HIV-2 have viral burdens typical of progressive HIV-1 infections, in approximately 80 % of HIV-2-infected individuals, viral loads remain very low or, in up to perhaps a third of cases, undetectable (Grant et al. 1997; van der Loeff et al. 2010). This is in contrast to HIV-1, where only 1...