Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 infections in Austria

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2014 Apr;126(7-8):212-6. doi: 10.1007/s00508-013-0493-1. Epub 2014 Jan 18.


Introduction: The first case of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) seropositivity in Austria was confirmed in 1993 in a dually human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)- and HIV-2-infected patient from Ghana, who died in 2001. Before this investigation, no further HIV-2 infection was published.

Methods: The aim of this study was to describe HIV-2 epidemiology in Austria, using serological and molecular techniques, and to perform a sequence analysis of the circulating viral strains.

Results: Six additional cases of HIV-2 were identified from 2000 to 2009. All patients originated from high-prevalence areas. In one patient, the HIV-2 infection was revealed 11 years after initial HIV-1 diagnosis, and further analysis confirmed a dual infection.

Conclusion: The HIV-2 epidemic has its epicentre in West Africa, but sociocultural issues, especially migration, are contributing to the low but continuous worldwide spread of HIV-2. Diagnosis of HIV-2 implies a different therapeutical management to avoid treatment failure and clinical progression. Differential diagnosis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 is complicated due to antibody cross-reactivity, and paradoxical findings (e.g. declining CD4 cell count despite HIV-1 suppression) may require careful reassessment, especially in patients from endemic countries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV-2 / classification
  • HIV-2 / genetics*
  • HIV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors