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HLA-B*27 and B*57 are associated with relatively slow progression to AIDS. Mechanisms held responsible for this protective effect include the immunodominance and high magnitude, breadth, and affinity of the cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) response restricted by these HLA molecules, as well as superior maintenance of CTL responses during HIV-1 disease progression.We examined CTL responses from HIV-1–infected individuals restricted through protective and nonprotective HLA alleles within the same host, thereby excluding any effects of slow or rapid progression on the CTL response.We found that neither immunodominance, nor high magnitude and breadth, nor affinity of the CTL response are general mechanisms of protection against disease progression. HLA-B*57-restricted CTL responses were of exceptionally high affinity and dominated the HLA-A*02-restricted CTL response in individuals coexpressing these HLA alleles. In contrast, HLA-B*27-restricted CTL responses were not of particularly high affinity and did not dominate the response in individuals coexpressing HLA-B*27 and HLA-A*02. Instead, in individuals expressing HLA-B*27, the CTL response restricted by nonprotective HLA alleles was significantly higher and broader, and of higher affinity than in individuals expressing these alleles without HLA-B*27. Although HLA-B*27 and B*57 are thought to target the most conserved parts of HIV, during disease progression, CTL responses restricted by HLA-B*27 and B*57 were lost at least as fast as CTL responses restricted by HLA-A*02.Our data show that many of the mechanisms of CTL that are generally held responsible for slowing down HIV-1 disease progression hold for HLA-B*57 but do not hold for HLA-B*27.