We reviewed published reports of infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV‐2) to provide a picture of its geographic distribution, pathogenicity, modes of transmission, and risk to the blood supply. Since the first reports in 1986, 627 HIV‐2‐seropositive persons have been reported; 604 of these were in natives of West Africa. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had developed in 42 patients, while 8 patients had AIDS‐related complex. Transmission by sexual intercourse was the usual reported mode of spread. The modes of transmission of HIV‐2 are thought to be the same as those for HIV‐1, but perinatal transmission and transmission by sharing of needles among intravenous drug abusers have not yet been reported. The virus has not been identified in blood donors in the United States or West Germany, but two HIV‐2‐infected blood donors were reported in France. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to define the spectrum of disease, modes of transmission, and risk of HIV‐2 to the blood supply.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Mar 4, 1988
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