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A population-based study was conducted on 256 southern Chinese with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III (CIN III) or invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and on 258 controls to examine the associations between HLA-B alleles, infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and the development of cervical neoplasia. HLA-B15 was found to be protective for CIN III/ICC overall (pcorrected = 0.003), and for HPV52-positive CIN III/ICC (pcorrected = 0.003). A marginal protective effect of B15 was observed for HPV16-positive CIN III/ICC, but no significant associations were revealed for HPV18- or HPV58-positive cases. None of the HLA-B alleles were found to confer an increased risk for cervical neoplasia. HLA-B15 is common among Asian for whom HPV52, a worldwide uncommon HPV type, also exists in a relatively high prevalence. It would also be worthwhile to assess the association between HLA-B15, HPV52 and cervical cancer in other Asian populations.