UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for Moffitt-Long and Mount Zion

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

Click here for more information about laboratory operations and procedures

If you have additional questions regarding this test, please call: 415-353-1667

Search Our Test Menu

HIV-1 RNA, Quantitative, by Real time PCR

Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code HIVRT
Test group HIV
Performed by Immunology
Method RT-PCR
Container type Lavender top x2
Amount to Collect 5 mL blood
Sample type EDTA Plasma
Preferred volume 3 mL plasma
Min. Volume 1.1 mL plasma (this volume is insufficient for repeat testing)
UCSF Rejection Criteria Heparinized samples
Processing notes Separate plasma within 6 hours of collection. Freeze separated plasma at -70C in plastic tube.
Units copies/mL or log copies/mL
Normal range < 40 copies/mL
< 1.60 log copies/mL
Stability Room temperature 6 hours, refrigerated 1 day, frozen at -20C 35 days
Turn around times Performed 2x per week. Turnaround time: 3-7 days.
Additional information This test is FDA approved for monitoring patients with a known diagnosis of HIV. This test is generally not used to establish a diagnosis of HIV. However, in the setting of acute HIV, if the antibody test is negative or equivocal, a high viral load is often present. If ordered for diagnostic purposes the provider should sign in the attestation area of the ID Serology and Molecular Testing requisition to document that patient consent was obtained.

High off-scale results are routinely reported as > 1,000,000 copies/mL or > 6.0 log copies/mL.

Low level results where HIV RNA is detected by the assay but not quantifiable are reported as ÔDetected' with a result <40 copies/mL or <1.60 log copies/mL.

Ô<40 copies/mL, Not Detected' or <1.60 log copies/mL, Not Detected' is reported when no HIV RNA can be detected by the assay. This result should not imply the patient is not infected with HIV. Viral loads less than 40 copies/mL will not be reliably detected by this assay. Correlation with clinical findings and serologic results are recommended.

Positive results are automatically forwarded to California public health per regulations. However, this does not absolve the ordering provider from any additional reporting if such is required.
CPT coding 87536
Medical Necessity? Yes. Click here for more information
Last Updated 4/16/2012 3:58:46 PM
Entry Number 512
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center