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QJM. 1996 Mar;89(3):177-85.

Association of HLA types A1-B8-DR3 and B27 with rapid and slow progression of HIV disease.

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  • 1Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


We examined how HLA types A1-B8-DR3 and B27 were related to progression of clinical disease and rate of loss of CD4 lymphocytes in the Edinburgh City Hospital cohort of HIV-positive patients, mainly injection drug users. Patients (n = 692) were prospectively followed from 1985 through March 1994. Accurately estimated seroconversion times were determined retrospectively for a subgroup of 313 (45%). Of 262 patients (39%) who were fully or partially HLA typed, 155 (50%) had known seroconversions. Of 34 patients typed positive for A1-B8-DR3, 29 progressed to CDC stage IV, 22 to AIDS and 20 died. Twelve patients were typed positive for B27; six of these progressed to CDC stage IV, one to AIDS and none died. In a proportional hazards analysis of the 313 patients with known seroconversions, A1-B8-DR3 was significantly associated with covariate-adjusted relative risks of 3.7 (95% CI 1.9-7.2), 3.1 (1.6-6.0) and 1.9 (1.1-3.2) for progression from seroconversion to death, AIDS and CDC stage IV, respectively. Events for B27 were too rare to include B27 in analyses to death and AIDS, but B27 was significantly associated with slower progression to CDC stage IV (0.3, CI 0.1-0.9). Random effects growth curve models were used to estimate individual rates of loss of square root CD4 count and loss of CD4 percentage, for 603 and 617 patients, respectively. A1-B8-DR3 was associated with rapid loss of both markers (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, respectively); B27 was associated with slow loss of both markers (p = 0.04 and p < 0.005).

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