A sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay has been developed for the identification or quantification of the human hemoglobin variants S, C, D-Los Angeles, E, G Philadelphia, Russ, O Arab, Beograd, J Paris I, G San Jose, Q Iran, Korle Bu, and F Malta I. In the immunoassay, monospecific antibody preparations are used which recognize the single amino acid substitution in the variant polypeptide chail and do not cross-react with normal hemoglobins or hemoglobin variants containing a different amino acid exchange at the same position.