Comparing HIV 1 and HIV 2

The HIV virus is of two types, HIV1 and HIV2. When worldwide, people generally talk of HIV they refer to HIV1. The relatively uncommon HIV2 is concentrated in West Africa and is rarely found anywhere else. Although there is slight difference there is no cure for the HIV1 and HIV 2 and AIDS.

If we talk of similarities they are as follows-

o Both the viruses are transmitted in a similar manner.

o They are transmitted by sexual contact, through body fluids such as blood, tears and vaginal fluids.

o It is also transmitted through breast milk from a mother to the child.

o Within three to six months both HIV-1 and HIV-2 cause the body to produce antibodies.

o Both HIV1 and HIV2 can develop into AIDS.

When we talk about Differences they are as follows-

o The persons who are infected with HIV2 develop immunodeficiency or a weak immune system more slowly and it is also milder.

o People who are infected with HIV2 virus are less infectious in the early stages than those infected with HIV1.

o It has been said that HIV-2 is less easily transmitted.

o The period between the initial infection and illness is longer in case of HIV-2

o As the virus progresses the infection of HIV2 increases.

o Compared to HIV-1 mostly it is the HIV-2 that seems to be more infectious later in the course of the disease.

o Mostly the cases of HIV-2 are reported in West Africa whereas the cases of HIV-1 are found worldwide.

Subtypes of HIV-1

The HIV-1 is classified into three groups. The “major” group that is M, the group M again has subtypes A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J and K, the “outlier” group O and the third is the “new” group N. It has been found out that more than 90% of the people with HIV-1 infection belong to the group M. Group N is extremely rare and group O is restricted to west-central Africa.

The treatment of HIV-1 and HIV-2

HIV-2 is more difficult to monitor than HIV-1 and the studies are still not clear towards the best treatment of HIV-2. There are some drugs that are used for treatment of HIV-1 but are not effective against HIV-2. Both the virus lead to the threatening disease AIDS.

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