Test Overview
Test Methodology

Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction Amplification (RT-PCR)

Test Usage

The HIV Type 1 RNA PCR test is intended for use only in individuals with documented HIV-1 infection and is not to be used for the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection. Viral load may be useful adjunct to other laboratory tests for following the disease progression in patients with HIV. Monitoring of viral load may also be helpful in making or altering treatment regimens in HIV infected patients.

Reference Range *

Not Detected. A result of "Not Detected" does not rule out the presence of HIV-1 RNA. A positive result indicates the presence of viral RNA, reported as the number of HIV-1 RNA copies/mL of plasma. The linear range of this assay is 40 -10,000,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL (Log10: 1.6 - 7.0).

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

Test Limitations

A single assay result should not be used as the only criteria to form a clinical conclusion. Results should be correlated with serologic tests, patients symptoms and clinical presentation.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Varies; test performed twice per week.
Analytic Time

8 hours

Soft Order Code
QHIV
MiChart Code
HIV-1 RNA, Quantitative, PCR
Synonyms
  • HIV Type 1 p24 Antigen Replacement Assay
  • HIV Viral Load, Ultrasensitive
  • Viral Load, HIV Type 1 RNA, Ultrasensitive
  • HIV Viral Load
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 RNA by PCR
  • Viral Load, HIV Type 1 RNA
  • QHIV
  • UHIV
  • HIV-1 QUANTITATIVE RNA ASSAY
  • HIV-1 ULTRA-QUANT. RNA ASSAY
  • PHIV
  • HIV-1 Proviral DNA, Blood
Laboratory
Microbiology
Section
Microbiology
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect specimen in lavender top (EDTA) tube. Centrifuge for 20 minutes at 800 - 1600 x g at room temperature and aliquot plasma into a polypropylene plastic vial within 6 hours of collection. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for longer storage. Do not allow frozen specimens to thaw at any time during storage or transport due to possible degradation of RNA. Specimens submitted in polystyrene tubes are not acceptable. Specimens sent for Microbiology molecular testing require a dedicated sample and cannot be shared with other laboratories.

Rejection Criteria
Specimens received in polystyrene aliquot tubes; plasma not aliquoted off cells within 6 hours of collection if stored at room temperature or within 24 hours if stored refrigerated; plasma specimen stored refrigerated longer than 5 days or frozen longer than 60 days.
Normal Volume
2.5 mL plasma
Minimum Volume
1.2 mL plasma
Storage Temperature
Transport whole blood at room temperature or refrigerated. Plasma 5 days refrigerated or frozen for longer storage. Do not allow frozen specimen to thaw at any time during storage or transport due to possible degradation of RNA.
Additional Information

Results above 10,000,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL fall outside the upper limit of the linear range of the assay and will be reported as >10,000,000 HIV-1 copies/mL detected. Since, clinically, a viral load above this level is sufficient to warrant a change in the patient's treatment regimen, such specimens will not routinely be diluted and retested to obtain the actual viral load level. For MLabs, please contact client services center if actual viral load is needed. Specimen will be held for 1 month.

Billing
CPT Code
87536
Fee Code
32308
LOINC
21008-8
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