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Mimicry of human antigen by HIV may underlie the autoreactivity seen in AIDS.A mouse monoclonal antibody (VIC8) raised against HIV p24 cross-reacted with human platelets; binding could be abolished by recombinant p24 antigen. VIC8 bound less well to platelets from patients with HIV than to those from healthy individuals. In the HIV group, binding was not related to p24 antigenaemia, disease stage, or platelet counts. This cross-reactivity is another example of antigenic mimicry by HIV and may be mechanistically important in HIV-associated autoimmune-like thrombocytopenia.