The ability to detect HIV-2 and to discriminate between HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections was evaluated in 46 serum samples from Guinea-Bissau (GB) and Guinea-Conakry (GC) using serological tests and commercial (HIV-1) and in-house (HIV-2) real-time PCR assays. Samples were first identified as HIV-2 positive by Genie I/II assay in GB and GC. HIV positivity was detected in 44 of 46 samples by all screening and confirmatory assays. A diagnostic strategy based on Inno-LIA and HIV-1/2 RNA detection assays allowed accurate discrimination between HIV-1 and HIV-2 in 84% of single infections and confirmed 32% of double infections. In samples with double reactivity in the Inno-LIA test and no detection of both genomes, cross-reactivity likely hampered the identification of true double infections. In conclusion, the implementation of a diagnostic strategy, based on multiple specific serological tests and highly sensitive quantitative PCR assays, is recommended to ensure accurate HIV-2 diagnosis and appropriate therapy for individuals from areas in which the virus is endemic
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