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HIV1 and HIV2: The Major Differences

Updated on June 19, 2009

The major aspect, which makes, HIV an extremely dangerous disease, is its ability to quickly replicate itself. Once it enters the body, it begins with the process of replication, which is at a very fast rate. Along with this, another reason, why we could not find a cure so far has been the mutation process, which this virus undergoes, resulting in the formation of several mutant groups.

Initially, HIV was considered to be one single virus type. However, it was soon revealed, that there were basically two strains of the HIV virus: HIV1 and HIV2.

While HIV1 is the most common type of strain, which affects the populations all across the globe, another strain of HIV, i.e. HIV2 is increasingly becoming a similar threat.

Although both HIV1 and HIV2 are very much similar, as far as transmission modes, as well as symptoms are concerned; there are a few major differences. The following are some of the major differences between the two strains:

1. The first major difference between the two strains lies in the number of cases reported under each strain. While HIV1 is the most common strain and is found in the majority of HIV infection cases, HIV2 is the less common strain and is not found very often.

2. Another major difference between HIV1 and HIV2 is in relation to the areas of prevalence. While HIV1 can be found across all the places of the world, the less common HIV2 is mainly concentrated to areas of Western Africa. HIV2 cases are mainly found in countries like, Senegal, Nigeria, as well as the Ivory Coast. Apart from this, it has also spread into countries like France and Portugal, as a result of economic relationships with these countries.

3. Apart from that, another important difference lies in terms of clinical research, as well as medical facilities available for each strain. Although, we may have a number of antiretroviral therapies, which are there for the treatment of HIV; these antiretroviral therapies mainly focus on the HIV1 strain, since it is most common. HIV2, being less common had less scope for clinical research. Due to this reason, there has not been much medical development, as far as HIV2 is concerned.

4. Also, HIV2 has been found to be slow in progress and has been found to weaken the immune system at a much slower rate, than the HIV1 strain. It has also been said that, HIV2 is less infectious in the earlier stages and is also said to be less easily transmitted.

5. However, in the later stages, it is HIV2 which does more damage. It has been found to be more infectious in the later stages, causing a number of ailments in a very short span of time.

Although there may be a few differences between both HIV1 and HIV2, both the strains are equally dangerous. Therefore, both should be avoided at any cost. The prevention modes are the same in both the cases. So, irrespective of which strain is it, do not let HIV in any form affect you.


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      Rohan 2 years ago

      actually i was sex a prasitude and i was testesd hiv1 and hiv2 in after 1 week and the reasult was neg in hiv1 and hiv2 ................. so is any prob in my future

    • profile image

      Ranjeet 2 years ago

      I Don't have HIV-1 positive it is the common in the world dont vorry

    • profile image

      Frank Silver 2 years ago

      I am Frank from New York. I was in trouble when doctor told me that I have been diagnosed with Genital Herpes... I thought about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I'm gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was searching the internet I found Dr. Ekpiku's contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I'm cured by Dr. Ekpiku herbal medicine, I'm very thankful to Dr. Ekpiku and very happy with my hubby and family. email him on or call +2348073673757 OR whatsup him OR THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ekpiku. HERPES. HIV/AIDS. CANCER.

    • profile image

      To chibunna 2 years ago

      Taking drugs does not mean you cannot be infected again, You just need to stay away from sex with people. HIV1 also have subtypes that can alter your treatment

    • profile image

      chibunna chiamaka 3 years ago

      HIV 2 is mostly found in west Africa.But i have a friend who is affected with HIV 2.though she is taking drugs

    • profile image

      patricia 3 years ago


      PATRICIA JONSON, i want to give almighty praise to DR OLUBAOLUBA who help me to cure my HIV/AID, please help me to give thanks to him he is a great man who God send from heaven to save people’s life, when i contacted this deadly virus i thought that was the end of the world for me little did i know that there is a man called DR OLUBAOLUBA OF AFRICA who has made a breakthrough in the cure of HIV and cancer cure with herbs when i confided in a friend here in south Africa he told me about this man called DR OLUBAOLUBA and how he cured the mum and dad of HIV after two years of living with this deadly diseases he told me of the cost and procedure i felt it was worth a try after i have been spending so much in the drugs to make me live like every normal human being so i contacted DR OLUBAOLUBA and did as he commanded without missing words he did all he needed to do and sent me the herbs here in south Africa i took it as he directed it was exactly seven days as DR OLUBAOLUBA has spoken when he emailed me and told me to go for a check up again and i went to my greatest surprise it was negative i felt it was a dream so i went to three different hospital and it was still negative then i cried out in a loud voice and people gathered in the hospital and i told them my story in tears how this man called DR OLUBAOLUBA have saved my life and they started demanding for his mail to contact him it was only last week my friend Vanessa who was HIV positive came back from visiting DR OLUBAOLUBA as a healthy woman i told her about DR OLUBAOLUBA you can reach him through his emai address he never fails hold on my friend don't cry no more when our helper is here i believe in him he am sure you will be lucky as i am too just email him on or +2348050354815 he is a savior of life

    • profile image

      joy 4 years ago

      To me hiv its evil and demonic @ the same time, I was told by prophet I have generational curse when I look yes, all first borns in my family are hiv posetive , which of two died of this desease I am also first born and this other cousin we are still alive but satans plan was to kill all first borns with this desease, today I no longer suffer since I was prayed for I am alive and strong. Jesus came that I might have life so I am having that life today my last born is 3yrs. Saved!!

    • profile image

      alex 4 years ago

      i tested myslf wth d hiv card and then left it nd went out cse I was scared to watch .i returned home later and realised I am hiv 1 positive, I couldn't believe what I saw so I added a lil drop of water and it tested very scared nd comfuse now

    • profile image

      fredrick 4 years ago

      always there is a reason for everything that happens. don't loose hope friends

    • profile image

      mickey 6 years ago

      ive jst bn diagnosed wth hiv1 n guys its difficult 2 accept bt my family is very supportive n soon il be startin my treatment..... Hiv is affectin us ol

    • profile image

      Sheila G 6 years ago

      How long do you live with this

    • profile image

      Chirty 6 years ago

      The best way is 2 hav God in this mighty one wil help reflain 4rm any sort of immoral behaivour by d end of day avoidin aids.

    • profile image

      zanele 6 years ago

      i now knw da feeling of being hiv positive u just n0rmal men still do want 2 ask u out u n joh soul r the only 1nz dat know

    • profile image

      kathy 6 years ago

      i have just been told tha i was tested positive on one of my test were waiting on my results to find out if i have hiv_1 im very scared i don't no what i will do i have a 6 year old son i will be leaving behind an i was always careful bout the thinks i did an never did any hard core drug an now i could of infected my soon to be husbandman witch he wont i keep going over an over in my head who an y an will i be able to do this?

    • profile image

      egwilove 6 years ago

      lets just be careful,even if you've got it just try to be urself ,take your drugs and try to live with it

    • profile image

      POLYNE 6 years ago


      go and have another test with her at a different vct and confirm your results.tell her that you just wished for the test and not that you had gone alone and found that you were hiv2 positive.

    • profile image

      BAHLE 6 years ago



    • profile image

      jeffrey 7 years ago

      i just had a dream where i got tested and found that im HIV2 POSITIVE.NOW IM SCARED THAT ÍNFECTED MY GIRLFRIEND

    • profile image

      Luzette 7 years ago

      I've recently tested negative to HIV1 and positive to HIV2 but am in Southern Africa. Is this result accuare?

    • profile image

      Jrs 7 years ago

      To kaweesa tonny,

      yes it is possible to have both. it usually means faster progression towards AIDS

      to Twelvesi

      The treatment is different, usually you will take other pills, but the HAART is the same basicaly. However it is highly improbable that you get HIV-2. it is more prevalent in western africa

    • profile image

      kaweesa tonny 7 years ago

      is it possible to have both the types

    • profile image

      twelvesi 7 years ago

      i been tested with hiv1 and hiv2 it the same treatment in my future?....but someone said that it is the same...i'm just worry about that..


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