Test must be pre-booked through the Southern Alberta Clinic (SAC) 403-955-6399.
Use HIV Viral Load Requisition CLS Form #REQ9023MI.
Specimens are collected at Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre (SMCHC) or South Calgary Health Centre (SCHC) PSCs as well as at the RRLs.
Test cannot be collected by Mobile Collection Service (MCS).
Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre (SMCHC) PSC: Specimens can only be collected at SMCHC between the hours of 07:00 and 15:00, Monday-Thursday, and between the hours of 07:00 and 12:00 Friday or any day preceding a holiday.
South Calgary Health Centre (SCHC) PSC: Specimens can only be collected at SCHC between the hours of 07:15 and 09:00, or 11:45 and 13:00, Monday-Thursday, by appointment only.
For HIV Viral Load, collect:
Adult: 1 x 6 mL lavender top EDTA tubes, or
Adult: Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre (SMCHC) PSC only: 1 x 5 mL Plasma Preparation Tube (PPT)
Pediatric: 1 x 3 mL lavender top EDTA tube
Collect additional tubes and follow instructions as indicated on the HIV Viral Load requisition:
- HIV Drug Resistance Testing (Genotype)
- Plasma HIV V3 Genotyping (Tropism) if VL greater than 500 copies/mL
- Proviral HIV DNA V3 Genotyping (Tropism) if VL less than 500 copies/mL
Specimens must be processed and transported within 4 hours of collection.
- Open/handle specimens in a biological safety cabinet (BSC).
- Centrifuge specimens collected in EDTA tubes in a contained system at 1100 rcf for 15 minutes.
- Centrifuge specimens collected in Plasma Preparation tubes (PPT) at 1100 rcf for 10 minutes.
- Aliquot plasma into separate tubes if more than one tube is collected.
- South Calgary Health Centre PSC will not centrifuge and aliquot samples at PSC site.
Ship specimens using Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) guidelines:
- Send the HIV Viral Load plasma to the DSC with a completed viral load requisition.
- If additional tubes are collected for HIV Resistance Testing and/or HIV Co-Receptor Tropism, send plasma to the DSC with a photocopy of the HIV Viral Load requisition.
- If "Other" or "Archive" tubes are requested, and the specimen has been collected at:
- Sheldon Chumir PSC,
- Package frozen plasma with a photocopy of the requisition and send before 08:30 the morning after collection, in a separate TDG container to:
HIV Laboratory, c/o Distribution Service
Room B808, Health Sciences Centre
University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive
NW, Calgary AB T2N 4N1
- Between the hours of 7:00 and 12:00 noon Monday-Friday, package the plasma with a photocopy of the requisition; phone the HIV Laboratory at 403-220-5199, and one of their staff will come to pick up the specimen.
- Outside the hours of 7:00 and 12:00 noon Monday-Friday (or on weekends or holidays), freeze the plasma at -70°C; phone the HIV Laboratory at 403-220-5199 and leave a message that there is a specimen to be picked up.
- ACH, PLC, RGH or South Calgary Health Centre PSC, send unprocessed tube(s) to the DSC, marked "Attention Microbiology".
If only able to collect one tube and more are needed, do not open the tube. Send the tube (within 4 hours of collection) TDG to DSC Microbiology to aliquot and forward to the HIV Laboratory.