In both human immunodeficiency virus-infected humans and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques, genes encoded in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I region are important determinants of disease progression. However, compared to the human human lymphocyte antigen complex, the macaque MHC region encodes many more class I genes. Macaques with the same immunodominant class I genes express additional Mhc genes with the potential to influence the disease course. We therefore assessed the association between of the Mhc class I haplotypes, rather than single gene variants, and survival time in SIV-infected rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). DNA sequence analysis and Mhc genotyping of 245 pedigreed monkeys identified 17 Mhc class I haplotypes that constitute 10 major genotypes. Among 81 vaccination-naive, SIV-infected macaques, 71 monkeys carried at least one Mhc class I haplotype encoding only MHC antigens that were incapable of inducing an effective anti-SIV cytotoxic T lymphocytes response. Study of these macaques enabled us to relate individual Mhc class I haplotypes to slow, medium and rapid disease progression. In a post hoc analysis, classification according to disease progression was found to explain at least 48% of the observed variation of survival time.