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HIV-2 - Topic Overview

HIV-1 is the virus that causes almost all the cases of AIDS worldwide. A related virus, HIV-2, was first isolated in people in West Africa in 1986. Some people who are infected with HIV-2 appear to have an AIDS-like illness, but most do not have symptoms.

You should be tested for HIV-2 infection if you:

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HIV, AIDS, and Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpes virus. It is very common, infecting up to 80% of people in the U.S. by age 40. Normally, it hides out in the body. This is not a problem for most people because a healthy immune system can easily control it. However, it can cause severe disease in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). It's able to take advantage of a weakened immune system, which is why it's called an opportunistic infection. The most common illness CMV causes is retinitis, an eye infection...

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Because HIV-2 is transmitted in the same ways as HIV-1, people who have HIV-2 should follow the same precautions as people who have HIV-1. It is possible to be infected with both HIV-1 and HIV-2.

Since 1992, blood and organs donated in the United States have been screened for HIV-2, so the risk of developing HIV-2 infection from a blood transfusion or organ transplant is extremely low.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 05, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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