Journal Article

HIV Type 2 in New York City, 2000–2008

Lucia V. Torian, Joanna J. Eavey, Amado P. Punsalang, Robert E. Pirillo, Lisa A. Forgione, Scott A. Kent and William R. Oleszko

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 11, pages 1334-1342
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
HIV Type 2 in New York City, 2000–2008

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Background. Antibody cross-reactivity complicates differential diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 2 (HIV-2) using standard serologic screening and confirmatory tests for HIV. HIV type 1 (HIV-1) viral load testing does not detect HIV-2. Although HIV-2 is, in general, less pathogenic than HIV-1, it can lead to immunosuppression and clinical AIDS, and there are important differences in the selection of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-2-related immunosuppression that make it imperative to differentiate between the 2 viruses. The New York City Department of Health (New York, NY) seeks to facilitate accurate diagnosis and surveillance of HIV-2 infection in the city.

Methods. We used routine HIV-1-2+O screening and a comprehensive algorithm to differentiate between HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection, universal HIV-related laboratory test reporting, population-based surveillance of HIV infection, and active communication with clinicians.

Results. Between 1 June 2000 and 31 December 2008, 62 persons received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable HIV-2 infection. The majority (60 [96.8%] of 62 individuals) were foreign-born (96.7% were born in Africa) and of black race/ethnicity (93.5%). At the time of initial diagnosis, 17.7% of patients with HIV-2 infection had AIDS. Forty (64.5%) of the patients received an initial diagnosis of HIV-1 infection. Among these patients, the median lag between initial diagnosis of HIV-1 infection and identification of HIV-2 as the infecting organism was 487.5 days.

Conclusion. HIV-2 should be ruled out in persons presenting for HIV testing who originate in or travel to West Africa and other areas in which HIV-2 is endemic, particularly those who have negative or indeterminate results on HIV-1 Western blot testing or have atypical banding patterns and/or present with clinical signs of HIV infection or unexplained immunosuppression.

Journal Article.  4565 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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