The HIV RNA by PCR test is a blood test used to provide a measurement of HIV genetic material in the blood.  This is also known as a “viral load test.”  However since its introduction this test has been used by customers also as early HIV infection screening. HIV RNA testing is often used to determine how actively the HIV virus is reproducing in a person who has been diagnosed with HIV infection.  This test can also be used to monitor the status of infection for a person who is undergoing retroviral therapy or whose HIV infection in a latent period.

HIV-1 RNA by PCR Blood Test    $189.00

Combo HIV-1 RNA by PCR Blood Test & HIV 4th Generation Antibody Assay   $278.00

HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, attacks the immune system by destroying T-Cells.  In time, HIV may lead to the development of AIDS.  The HIV virus is spread through exposure to infected blood and bodily fluids, usually during sexual contact or intravenous drug use.  HIV testing is recommended for anyone who is sexually active, especially those who engage in high risk behaviors.  Early HIV infections may display flu-like symptoms, but often show no symptoms at all.  HIV infections that go undiagnosed threaten not only the person who is infected but everyone they may potentially spread the virus to.

While this test is not typically ordered as an initial screening, it is ideal for people who have been diagnosed with HIV and wish to monitor their infection or determine the efficacy of their treatment.  For people who have been recently diagnosed with HIV, testing should be conducted every 2-8 weeks.  During long-term retroviral therapy, people should be tested every 3-4 months or per a doctor’s recommendations.  Regular HIV testing can decrease the risk of complications associated with HIV infection and increase a person’s life span.

People who require an HIV screening for recent exposure may wish to order the HIV RNA viral qualitative test together with the HIV-1 Abs test.

Turnaround time for the HIV RNA by PCR test is typically 2-5 business days.