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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: HIV-1, PCR


CPT Code(s): 87535

Methodology: PCR

Clinical Significance: To identify HIV infection before symptoms of disease and seroconversion occur.

Testing Site: Testing will be sent to an approved reference laboratory.

Days Performed: Mon-Fri.

Turnaround Time: Routine: 4 days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Blood

Collection Instructions: This blood must be received and processed by WSLH within 48 hours of collection.  Blood must be received by the Core Laboratory Sunday-Thursday or before 1000 on Friday.

Collection Container: Preferred: Lavender top
Also Acceptable: Yellow top(with ACD-A/B anticoagulant)

Collection Volume: Preferred: 4 mL
Pediatrics: 3 mL

Sample Analyzed: Whole Blood

Specimen Processing: Transport whole blood specimen to WSLH Virology Laboratory within 48 hours of collection.
Call the WSLH Virology Laboratory at (608)262-2366 to inform them a specimen will be coming.

Outreach Specimen Transport: Transport whole blood specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220).  

Stability: Ambient: 48 hours
Refrigerated: Not acceptable
Frozen: Not acceptable



Report provides interpretation.

Test Limitations:

It should be understood that PCR should not be viewed as a substitute for well established screening tests such as HIV-EIA and HIV Western Blot procedures and should be selected as the test of choice in only a few distinct situations.  This test is not FDA cleared but has been verified at WSLH.

Additional Information:

PCR is a process of DNA amplification not dependent on an antibody response that allows identification of HIV infection before symptoms or seroconversion occur. Specimens from the following patient groups will receive priority for testing:

      1st-  Neonates whose mothers are HIV positive or at

              high risk for HIV infection.

      2nd- Patients with indeterminate Western blot

              serologies for HIV.



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