Update Type: Test Discontinued
Test Updated: 08/24/2022
Test Overview
Test Methodology

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Test Usage

This test is used for virologic detection of HIV-1 infection in infants <18 months of age (an age group for which serologic tests are unreliable) born to HIV-1-infected mothers, early detection of acute HIV-1 infection in children and adults who may be receiving combination antiretroviral prophylaxis or pre-emptive treatment, and determining eradication of HIV-1 in individuals receiving combination highly active antiretroviral therapies.

Reference Range *


* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

This assay is optimized for the detection of HIV-1 groups M (subtypes A to H), N and O, but it may not detect all HIV-1 group N or O strains.

Diagnosis of HIV-1 infection should not rely solely upon a “Detected" result for HIV-1 DNA and/or RNA. Such a result should be considered in conjunction with patient’s clinical presentation, physical findings, and other diagnostic laboratory tests prior to establishing the diagnosis. An “Undetected" result indicates only the absence of HIV-1 DNA and RNA in the specimen tested and does not exclude the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection. “Undetected" results should be interpreted with caution, considering the patient's risk factors for HIV-1 infection, the analytical sensitivity of the assay, and the group of the infecting HIV-1 strain. Follow-up testing is recommended for high-risk patients with initially “Undetected" test results.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Varies (once per week minimum)
Analytic Time

4-12 days

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
HIV-1 DNA and RNA Qualitative Detection by PCR, Plasma (perinatally-expose
  • HIV-1 DNA by PCR
  • HIV-1 DNA by PCR, Diagnostic
  • HIV-1 DNA by PCR, Qualitative
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus DNA by PCR
  • HIV-1 proviral DNA
Reference Laboratory
Special Testing
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect specimen in a lavender top tube. Centrifuge, aliquot plasma into a plastic vial within 6 hours of collection, and refrigerate. If shipment will be delayed for >5 days, freeze plasma specimen at -70 C (up to 35 days) until shipment on dry ice.

This assay should not be used as a screening test or primary diagnostic test for HIV-1 infection, except in infants <18 months of age born to HIV-1-infected mothers.
Normal Volume
1 mL EDTA plasma
Minimum Volume
0.5 mL EDTA plasma
Storage Temperature
Frozen (preferred): 35 days, Refrigerated: 5 days.
Additional Information

Test sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories.

CPT Code