HIV-1 RNA Quantitation, Ultrasensitive  

IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459 for further clarification.


Test: HIV RNA Quantitation, Ultrasensitive  
Synonym: HIV Viral Load Ultrasensitive 
Method: Quantitative Nucleic Acid Amplification  
Availability: Test performed at least once/week; results within 1 week  
Specimen: Blood  
Collection Device: 7.0 mL EDTA (Lavender) tube  
Volume: 3.0 mL plasma minimum  
Storage/Transport: Frozen; centrifuge and aliquot plasma to a clean tube within 6 hours of collection, labeling with patient name, date of birth and "EDTA Plasma."  
Specimen Stability: Specimen stable frozen  
Reference Interval: HIV-1 RNA not detected, < 50 copies/mL  
Reportable Disease:  
Comments: This test is intended for use in conjunction with clinical presentation and other laboratory markers as an indicator of disease prognosis. This test is also used as an aid in assessing viral response to antiretroviral treatment as measured by changes in plasma HIV-1 RNA levels. The analytic measurement range of this assay is 1.7 - 7.0 log copies (50 - 10,000,000 copies/mL). The clinical significance of changes in HIV-1 RNA measurement has not been fully established; however, a threefold (0.5 log) change in copies/mL may be significant. False positive results may occur. Care should be taken when interpreting results, especially for seronegative patients. This assay should not be used for blood donor screening, associated re-entry protocols, or for screening Human Cell, Tissues, and Cellular Tissue-Based Products (HCT/P). 
Revised: 7/11/2011 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.