Human Immunodeficiency Virus-2 (HIV-2): A Summary of the Present Standard of Care and Treatment Options for Individuals Living with HIV-2 in Western Europe

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Feb 1;72(3):503-509. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa275.


Human immunodeficiency virus-2 (HIV-2) is endemic in some countries in West Africa. Due to the lower prevalence in industrialized countries, there is limited experience and knowledge on the management of individuals living with HIV-2 in Europe. Compared to HIV-1, there are differential characteristics of HIV-2 regarding diagnostic procedures, the clinical course, and, most importantly, antiretroviral therapy. We integrated the published literature on HIV-2 (studies and reports on epidemiology, diagnostics, the clinical course, and treatment), as well as expert experience in diagnosing and clinical care, to provide recommendations for a present standard of medical care of those living with HIV-2 in Western European countries, including an overview of strategies for diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment, with suggestions for effective drug combinations for first- and second-line treatments, post-exposure prophylaxis, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, as well as listings of mutations related to HIV-2 drug resistance and C-C motif chemokine receptor type 5 and C-X-C motif chemokine receptor type 4 coreceptor tropism.

Keywords: HIV-2; antiretroviral therapy; care; diagnosis; resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Europe
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV-2 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Standard of Care


  • Anti-HIV Agents