Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are surface molecules present on antigen presenting cells through which they present antigenic peptides to the helper and cytotoxic T-cells (to bring about the immune response). Of them HLA-B57:01 is associated with HIV and testing for it is done to prevent any hypersensitivity reaction when treating the HIV with abacavir. About 8 percent of the people carry this HLA allele. And 8 to 61 percent of the HIV patients who carry this allele and are treated with abacavir develop hypersensitivity reactions within six weeks. The manifestations include:
These can progress up to death especially with re-exposure. Hence this thing can’t be stressed enough that people with HIV should be tested for HLA-B57:01 prior to starting them on abacavir.
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