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HIV Quantitative PCR (Viral Load)



For determination of active ongoing infection, monitoring of longer term disease progression and response to antiviral therapies.


Blood sample (plasma)

Specimen container

Pink top EDTA (6ml)

To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘HIV Quantitative PCR‘ or test code ‘LAB919

Special Instructions

Samples from patients known to have blood transmissible viral infections should be clearly labelled “High Risk” or “Danger of Infection”.


Local test

Turnaround Time

7 days


Viral loads will be reported in copies/ml and where appropriate a log will be given.

Limit of Detection (LoD): 20 copies/mL

Lower Limit of Quantitation (LLoQ): 20 copies/mL

Upper Limit of Quantitation (ULoQ): 10,000,000 copies/mL

The conversion factor from copies per mL to International Units per mL is 0.6 copies:1 IU.


Roche Cobas 6800

Useful Links

For Patients:

HIV Viral Load – Lab Tests Online

For Healthcare Professionals:

HIV Testing Guidelines – BHIVA

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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