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Laboratory Test Reference Guide

Laboratory Information

Test Name

HIV viral load


Human Immunodeficiency virus viral load.

Specimen Collection

Pre Testing Requirements

Requires dedicated EDTA specimens (no other tests requested).

Specimen Collection and Transport Protocols

Do not use serum, do not use heparin.

Adult Specimen

3.0 mL EDTA plasma.

Paediatric Specimen

At least 3mL whole blood to yield 1.5 mL EDTA plasma

Instructions for Referral to Waikato Lab

Aliquot Instructions

Centrifuge and separate EDTA plasma samples within 24 hours of collection into a sterile tube. Specimens separated into thin-walled plastic tubes are unacceptable.

Aliquot Transport

Transport at 2 - 8 degrees C if transport time from collection is less than 24 hours. Transport frozen if more than 24 hours.

Test Information


Molecular Biology

Test Availability

Mon - Fri, 0800 - 1630 excl. Public Holidays

Laboratory Turnaround Time

Six weekly


COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 V 2.0

Unit Of Measurement

Copies/mL and Log copies/mL.

Uncertainty Of Measurement



One copy of HIV-1 RNA is equivalent to 1.7 +/- 0.1 International Units using the Roche COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 V 2.0 assay

Minimum Volume

1.5mL EDTA plasma.