Lack of Protection Against HIV-1 infection among women with HIV-2 infection

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To assess whether HIV-2 infection protects against HIV-1 infection by comparing the rate of HIV-1 seroconversion among HIV-negative and HIV-2-seropositive women followed in a cohort study in Abidjan, Côte d‚Ivoire.


Prospective cohort study


HIV seroconversion was assessed in 266 HIV-seronegative, 129 HIV-1-seropositive, and 127 HIV-2-seropositive women participating in a closed cohort study of mother-to-child transmission of HIV conducted during 1990-1994. Participants were seen every 6 months, and blood samples were obtained. All blood samples were screened for HIV antibodies by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and confirmed by line immunoassay (LIA) and Western blot. Among women who were HIV-seronegative at enrolment, seroconversion was defined as new EIA-reactivity confirmed on LIA and Western blot. Among HIV-1- or HIV-2-seropositive women, seroconversion to dual reactivity was defined as new dual reactivity on the LIA that was confirmed by reactivity on both HIV-1- and HIV-2-monospecific EIA.


Five HIV-seronegative women became HIV-1-seropositive [seroconversion rate, 1.1 per 100 person-years; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.3-2.5), and none became HIV-2-seropositive. No HIV-1-seropositive women became HIV-1/2 dually reactive, whereas six HIV-2-seropositive women acquired HIV-1 seroreactivity and thus became HIV-1/2 dually reactive (seroconversion rate 2.9 per 100 person-years; 95% CI, 1.1-6.3). HIV-2-seropositive women were more likely to acquire HIV-1 seroreactivity than were HIV-seronegative women (rate ratio, 2.7; 95% CI, 0.7-11.2), but this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.15).


HIV-2 infection does not appear to protect against HIV-1 infection.

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