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Article on The

Aug 15, 2004

I read an article on this website about HLA testing, but am still unsure what this test shows and how it is used clinically. Can you please explain how it is helpful to gauging diagnosis and stage of disease, and treatment?

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The human leukocyte antigen test, also known as HLA, is a test that detects antigens (genetic markers) on white blood cells. It is used frequently in transfusion or transplant medicine. Recently certain HLA markers have been associated with long term nonprogression or more rapid progression of HIV disease. The predictability of these markers is not 100% in terms of HIV disease progression risk. I don't think the research has matured enough to say this test should be used in everybody who is infected to assess their risk.

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