Pathology Handbook

HIV viral load

Clinical Indications

Follow-up of HIV positive patients

Request Form 

Request via ICE


On request during routine working hours
Samples must be received in the laboratory by 16:30 to allow them to be sent to the Reference Laboratory (Addenbrookes) on the same day

Specific Criteria

Consult the Microbiology Department
Please give detailed clinical information, including the date of any previous referral for HIV viral load

Turnaround Time

7-10 days


Whole blood in a special pearl top sample container which must be obtained from Microbiology


7 ml


Special container - see above


Samples MUST be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled / inadequately labelled sample
Delay in sample reaching laboratory

Lab Handling

Centrifuge at 1500 g (approx 3000 rpm) for 20 minutes and send to the Reference Laboratory (Addenbrookes) on day of receipt