Significant differences have been observed in the rates of transmission and disease development in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) types 1 and 2. Because many HIV-2-infected people remain asymptomatic for prolonged periods, the hypothesis that HIV-2 might protect against subsequent infection by HIV-1 was considered. During a 9-year period in Dakar, Senegal, the seroincidence of both HIV types was measured in a cohort of commercial sex workers. Despite a higher incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV-2-infected women had a lower incidence of HIV-1 than did HIV-seronegative women, with a relative risk of 0.32 (P = 0.008). An understanding of the cross-protective mechanisms involved may be directly relevant to HIV-1 vaccine development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes