Several human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles are associated with the susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection and/or AIDS progression. Of these, the HLA-B alleles are considered the strongest genetic determinant of disease outcome. We evaluated the influence of the HLA-B alleles on AIDS progression among HIV-1-positive individuals from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who were categorized as rapid progressors (RPs), typical progressors (TPs) or long-term non-progressors (LTNPs). In this study, significant differences in HLA-B allele frequencies were observed among the three progression groups for the B*48, B*49 and B*52 alleles. After controlling for other factors associated with AIDS progression, the presence of the B*52 allele was shown to be a significant protective factor (hazard ratio (HR) 0.49 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.90) P<0.03). Although no direct association was observed between the presence of the B*27 or B*57 allele and the LTNP profile compared with the TP or RP groups, the adjusted model confirmed that these alleles are protective factors against AIDS progression (HR 0.62 (95% CI 0.38-0.99) P<0.05), as previously described. These data corroborate the existence of significant differences in HLA-B allele frequencies among the distinct AIDS progression profiles and further elucidate the role of HLA alleles in the outcome of HIV infections in diverse populations.