Japan to keep a tight vigilance on the spread of a rare HIV-2 virus.
Japanese health officials have announced that they would step up vigilance against the rare HIV-2 form of the AIDS-causing virus after reports have claimed that the first Japanese citizen has been infected.
An official of the health Ministry, Kozo Akino, had announced that the government is planning to question the local health authorities to submit written reports as to how they are conducting tests for HIV-2, so that they could ensure a very thorough testing.
Explaining that the HIV-2 virus is common in West Africa bur rare in other regions, the health officials explained that in Japan the tests are conducted in two stages. The initial stage was for checking HIV infection regardless of the type of virus, HIV-1 or HIV-2. It was further explained that those testing positive would then be made to undergo a separate test for HIV-1 or HIV-2. Many critics though feel that there is a heightened possibility that the officials might skip tests for the less prevalent HIV-2.
Akino stated that last month, a Japanese man had tested positive for HIV-2 when he was in the hospital for undergoing treatment for bronchial asthma. It was reported that the man whose name, age and other details that have not been disclosed has been released from the hospital. Akino also announced that sources claim that the man could have been infected when he received a blood transfusion in an unspecified West African country.
Announcing that this was the first time that a Japanese citizen has tested positive for HIV-2, Akino clarified that there had been at least two non-Japanese people who had tested positive in Japan for the virus in 1992 and 2001.