Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy and Viral Response in HIV Type 2 Infection

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Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2), the second human retrovirus known to cause AIDS, is endemic to West Africa but is infrequently found outside this region. We present a case series of 10 HIV-2—infected individuals treated in the United States. Physicians applied the principles of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), normally used in treating HIV type 1, with modifications considered appropriate for treating HIV-2. CD4+ cell count, HIV-2 virus load, and clinical status were found to correlate well, providing evidence that HIV-2 virus load is useful in managing treatment of patients with HIV-2 who are receiving therapy. However, HAART regimens with predicted efficacy for treatment of HIV type 1 infection are not as efficacious for treatment of HIV-2. Controlled clinical trials of HIV-2-infected patients receiving various HAART regimens are needed to provide therapeutic guidance to the medical community.

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