Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the etiologic agent of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  HIV infection can be transmitted by sexual contact, exposure to infected blood or blood products, or by an infected mother to the fetus.  Although virus levels in the peripheral blood are relatively low during the asymptomatic phase of the infection, virus replication and clearance appear to be dynamic processes, quantitative measurements of HIV viremia in the peripheral blood have shown that higher virus levels may be correlated with increased risk of clinical progression of HIV disease, and that reductions in plasma virus levels may be associated with decreased risk of clinical progression.

Clinical Utility:

This test is intended for use in conjunction with clinical presentation and other laboratory markers of disease progress for the clinical management of HIV-1 infected patients.  The test can be used to assess patient prognosis by measuring the baseline HIV-1 RNA level or to monitor the effects of antiretroviral therapy by measuring changes in EDTA plasma HIV-1 RNA levels during the course of antiretroviral treatment.


Virus levels in the peripheral blood can be quantitated by direct measurement of viral RNA in plasma using nucleic acid amplification.  We adopted the FDA-approved Hologic Aptima® HIV-1 Quant DX assay for the quantitation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) RNA in human plasma.

Reportable Range:
30-10,000,000 copies/mL (1.48 – 7.00 log copies/mL)

Specimen Requirements:

  • 5-10 ml of blood should be collected in sterile EDTA (lavender top) as the anticoagulant.  Specimen must be centrifuged and separated within 6 hours.  Freeze plasma for transport to lab. 
  • Spin sample for 20 minutes at 1200g.
  • Pediatric Minimum is 800µL of plasma.
  • Please note that specimens collected using heparin (green top tube) as the anticoagulant are unsuitable for this test.

A REQUISITION FORM MUST ACCOMPANY ALL SAMPLES.  Please include detailed clinical information.

Test Performed (Days):

Monday and Thursday

Turn Around Time:

2 – 5 days

Shipment Sensitivity Requirements:

  • Package and ship specimen on dry ice. 
  • Ship via overnight express, using the FedEx priority overnight label provided. 
  • Contact Client Services for shipping kits and instructions at (855) 535-1522.


Hologic Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Assay Package Insert AW-13242, Rev. 001

Additional Info:

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute's largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

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