HIV-2 and its neurological manifestations
The human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) produces a similar spectrum of illness as HIV-1, including AIDS, and is clinically indistinguishable. There is evidence that it is less pathogenic, with a longer natural history. HIV2 infection is endemic in West Africa, especially in the former Portuguese and French colonies. Trade, migration, war and tourism have been important factors in the spread of the virus through the subregion and beyond.
Diagnostic facilities necessary for the accurate diagnosis of neurological disease are not available in most of Africa and autopsy reports have been few. These constraints have restricted the information available on the pattern of neuropathology induced by HIV-2. However, it possesses neurotropic properties similar to those of HIV-1 and produces disease by means of direct action of the virus on the nervous system, and immunosuppression which allows opportunistic infections and tumours to occur.
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