Difference Between HIV-1 and HIV-2

HIV is a virus that affects immune system cells. CD4+ cells aid the immune system’s ability to fight infections. The body becomes less tolerant to infections and disorders when the number of these cells is diminished.

HIV is mostly spread through the infected person’s body fluids. Acute immunodeficiency syndrome can develop if HIV is not treated.

Consequently, antiretroviral therapy is required to lower viral load and protect Spread of HIV to the patient’s sexual partners.

HIV-1 vs HIV-2

The main difference between HIV 1 and HIV 2 is that the most common type of HIV is HIV-1, which is found all over the world. Approximately 95 percent of women living with HIV have HIV-1, as per the Awareness – raising organization. HIV-2 is primarily found in West Africa, but it is beginning to spread to other parts of the world, such as the United States, India, and Europe. Despite the fact that HIV-1 and HIV-2 are transposable elements with similar effects on the human body, they are genetically diverse.

HIV 1 vs HIV 2

HIV-1 is a retrovirus that evolved from a similar virus seen in chimps. It’s thought that humans contracted the virus after coming into touch with the fluids of chimps they had slain.

The window period for each diagnostic method is different. This really is the time from when a person is infected with a virus and when the test can identify it effectively.

During analysis, a healthcare practitioner will consider the test’s window period. It’s likely that a second test will be required after the window time has gone to confirm a negative result.

HIV-2 infection was once thought to be more benign than HIV-1 infection, and many people can live a normal life even without antiretroviral therapy.

However, the researchers discovered that both kinds of HIV infection had a significant risk of dying from AIDS absent ART after reviewing over 20 years of obey data from persons with HIV-1 and HIV-2.

AIDS occurred at higher CD4 cell levels in patients with HIV-2 infection than in people with HIV-1 infection, despite HIV-2 being linked with a shorter illness course.

Comparison Table Between HIV-1 and HIV-2

Parameters of Comparison HIV-1HIV-2
OriginHIV-1 is originated from the common chimpanzee.HIV-2 is originated from sooty mangabey.
InfectiveHIV-1 is highly infective.HIV-2 is less infective.
Virulence HIV-1 is highly virulent. HIV-2 is less virulent.
Heterosexuals’ SpreadHIV-1 has a high chance of spreading.HIV-2 has fewer chances of spread.
Genetic DiversityThere is no genetic diversity.There is low genetic diversity.

What is HIV-1?

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) is the most frequent kind. It targets the immune response of your body. CD4 cells are destroyed by the virus.

These cells aid in the fight against disease in your body. HIV-1 can cause significant body immune damage, leading to Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Treatments for HIV-1 may lower the level of HIV-1 in your blood.

Treatments may also aid in the increase of CD4 cells in your bloodstream. These cells aid in the fight against various infections. When an HIV-1 medicine is used in conjunction with other HIV-1 drugs, it is more likely to be successful.

Antiretroviral therapy is a mixture of drugs used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus. Although antiretroviral therapy cannot cure HIV, it can help people live longer.

ART prevents the virus from multiplying and decreases the number of viruses in the body, allowing the patient to live a healthier life.

In order for the drug to be effective, the patient must comply with the prescribed dosage once treatment is started. Non-compliance can lead to the development of resistance.

Although mortality has improved since the implementation of cART, the disease is still an important disease impact. Test losses and difficulties in developing a remedy have been especially discouraging.

What is HIV-2?

What is HIV-2? However, in the population of people who do not receive the therapy, they will develop AIDS and die.

There have been no randomized control trials to determine when a person with HIV-2 should begin antiretroviral therapy or which regimes are most successful for first-line or second-line ART for managing HIV-2, so the best medical strategy remains unknown.

ART should be begun at or shortly after HIV-2 diagnosis to limit the progression of the disease and HIV-2 transmissions to others, according to available data on the therapy of HIV-2, and extrapolate from data on the therapy of HIV-1.

The accurate plasma HIV-2 RNA viral testing process for clinical treatment is now accessible and should be done prior to starting antiretroviral therapy.

Even if their viral loads are stably suppressed, HIV-2 patients should have their CD4 counts checked on a regular basis since the progression of the disease can occur even with a negative viral load.

When receiving ART treatment, HIV-2 patients may experience viral changes related to drug resistance. However, no antibiotic tolerance assays for HIV-2 genotypic or phenotypic resistance have been authorized for clinical use.

In the case of viral load, immunological, or therapeutic failure, a new antiretroviral therapy protocol should be devised in cooperation with an HIV-2 expert.

Main Differences Between HIV-1 and HIV-2

  1. HIV-1 is a virus that originates in chimps. Sooty mangabey is the source of HIV-2.
  2. HIV-1 is extremely contagious, whereas HIV-2 is less infectious than HIV-1.
  3. HIV-1 has a high level of pathogenicity, whereas HIV-2 has lower pathogenicity than HIV-1.
  4. HIV-1 has a high risk of spreading, whereas HIV-2 has a lower risk of spreading.
  5. HIV-1 has no genetic diversity, whereas HIV-2 has less genetic diversity.


The HIV-1 and HIV-2 viruses are two distinct viruses. HIV-1 is the most common HIV strain, accounting for 95% of all infections globally. Only a few Western African countries are affected by HIV-2. In the remainder of the world, the spread is negligible.

Despite the fact that HIV-2 advances more gradually than HIV-1, some antiretroviral medicines are ineffective against HIV-2. HIV-1 and HIV-2 have significant structural and genomic differences.

The vpu gene found in HIV-1 is substituted by the vpx gene in HIV-2, according to a technical explanation.

Furthermore, the two viruses’ protease proteins, which are aspartic acid proteases and are required for the development of the infected particle, show a 50 percent sequence similarity.

However, these components have different substrate and inhibitor binding patterns.


  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/7848600
  2. https://www.scielosp.org/article/ssm/content/raw/?resource_ssm_path=/media/assets/bwho/v82n6/v82n6a13.pdf
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