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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: HIV-1 RNA, Quant, Peds Screen 0-18 Months


CPT Code(s): 87536

Methodology: Reverse-Transcription plus Real-Time PCR

Clinical Significance: This test should only be ordered for pediatric patients whose HIV status is being assessed by the Pediatric Infection Disease Protocol. Patients not on the protocol that require diagnostic testing should be tested using: HIV-1, PCR.

Days Performed: Twice a week-days vary.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: 5 days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Blood

Collection Container: Preferred: Lavender top

Collection Volume: Preferred: 6 mL
Pediatrics: 2 mL

Sample Analyzed: Plasma

Volume Required: Preferred: 3 mL
Pediatrics: 1.2 mL

Specimen Processing: Separate cell-free plasma from whole blood and transfer to a sterile polypropylene tube within 6 hours of collection. Freeze plasma at -60 to -80C (preferred). Prior to freezing at -60 to -80C, EDTA plasma may also be stored at either 2 to 8C for up to 72 hours or frozen at -20C for up to 7 days.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220) immediately.

Outreach Specimen Transport: Transport frozen plasma on dry ice to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220).

Stability: Ambient: Whole blood - 6 hours
Refrigerated: Plasma - 3 days
Frozen: Whole blood - Not acceptable frozen; Plasma - 6 weeks at -70C.


Interpretive Guidelines:

If HIV-1 is detected, two results are reported for each assay: a measured log10 copies/mL and a calculated copies/mL result.


Analytical measurement range of this assay is 20 - 10,000,000 copies/mL (1.30-7.00 log10 copies/mL). In patients where HIV-1 is detected but outside of the analytical measurement range (AMR), a result of <20 copies/mL or > 10,000,000 copies/mL will be reported.  If no HIV-1 is detected, a result of "Not detected" will be reported.


Test Limitations:

This is a reverse-transcription real-time PCR assay. This test should only be used for pediatric patients being assessed by the Pediatric Infection Disease Protocol. This assay should not be used as a screening, confirmatory or diagnostic test to confirm presence of HIV-1 infection.

Additional Information:

Specimens are assayed using the COBAS Ampliprep and COBAS Taqman methodology by Roche Diagnostics. This is a quantitative test for the HIV-1 virus group M subtypes A through H and Group O.


This test is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

viral load

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