Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes (HLA in humans) regulate the immune response to foreign antigens. Molecular and serologic techniques were used to identify products of HLA class I, class II and transporter (TAP) genes (also part of the MHC) in homosexual seroconverters to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Comprehensive statistical analysis produced an HLA profile that predicted time from HIV-1 infection to the onset of AIDS. The profile was developed in a cohort of 139 men and evaluated in a second unrelated cohort of 102 men. In the evaluation cohort, the profile discriminated a sixfold difference between groups with the shortest and longest times to AIDS (P = 0.001). These findings support current theory about control of antigen processing by HLA genes and have implications for immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 and other infections.