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HLA B-5701 Allele
Oct 30, 2011

I've been positive since 1999, and I learned early on through a clinical study that I have the HLA B-5701 allele. When the test for this became commercially available, my doctor ordered it for me, and the results confirmed that I have this allele. I know that this allele has been associated with slower progression of HIV. I read the treatment guidelines seeking to find a clear explanation of the benefit, but they only talked about the danger of using Abacavir in persons with the allele. My questions are these: What benefit does the allele provide? Do I still need to keep taking the same meds as others without the allele? I wish the NIH or somebody would look at these individual differences before they establish treatment guidelines.

Response from Dr. Henry

To date the clinical relevance of the HLA B5701 allele as it pertains to antiretroviral therapy is only established for its relationship to risk for abacavir hypersensitivity reaction (use is contraindicated if HLA B5701 positive) and not for any changes in use or timing of other antiretroviral medications though there is clinical/research interest in the issue as you indicate. KH/



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