Genetic testing for abacavir hypersensitivity is recommended before starting anyone on on the NRTI drug abacavir. The presence of the B*5701 allele increases susceptibility to abacavir hypersensitivity. 

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) family of genes codes for a highly variable set of cell surface glycoproteins (also called human leukocyte antigens or HLAs) that play a critical role in presenting antigens to T-cell receptors to elicit an immune response. Usually a blood sample of 7ml whole blood or four buccal swabs is required for this test.

Even after someone tests negative for this allele, careful monitoring of any person on abacavir is necessary. Occasionally, even a person who has tested B*5701 negative can have a serious hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.