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HIV Viral Load

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The National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services is accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 by the Standards Council of Canada for the specific scopes of accreditation published on


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services
Phone #:
(204) 789-6522
(204) 318-2221
2 test events per year, shipped once per year in October.

Proficiency panel to determine HIV-1 viral load levels. The positive HIV-1 viral load panel members will vary in range from Log10 1.60 cp/mL to Log10 7.00 cp/mL for each test event.


The NLHRS HIV Viral Load Quality Assurance Program was established in 1997 to monitor HIV Viral Load testing in Canadian and international labs. The participants are asked to follow their testing algorithm to determine the HIV-1 viral load levels with results returned in Log10 copies/mL.


There is no cost to the participants. Shipping fees may be applied for participants who routinely do not return results.

Eligibility criteria for participation:

This program is open to any Canadian lab that performs HIV- 1 viral load testing. For international labs, there may be a restriction due to shipping/cost requirements. Participants may be suspended or shipping costs may be applied if a lab does not return results.

NML Transfer permit:

The NLHRS is required to obtain a permit for sending the proficiency panel to our participants. The QAP coordinator will provide Form SES-F-052A to the participants for them to complete and return with the required documentation to the QAP coordinator.

The transfer permit has an expiry date; the QAP coordinator will contact the participants to initiate the process for renewal of the transfer permit. 

Confidentiality arrangements:

Confidentiality, collusion, and falsification of data policy:

Participants are randomly assigned alpha-numeric identifiers that allow labs and their information to remain confidential.  If an interested party requires the proficiency testing results to be directly provided by the proficiency testing provider, the participants shall be made aware of the arrangement in advance of participation.  In exceptional circumstances, when a regulatory authority requires proficiency testing results to be directly provided to the authority by the proficiency testing provider, the affected participants shall be notified of this action in writing.

The NLHRS has a zero tolerance policy for collusion and falsification of proficiency testing results. Participants suspected of breaching this policy will be investigated by the NLHRS which may result in suspension or removal from the proficiency testing program.

How to apply:

Submit your request to

Appeal process:

If you would like to make an appeal on your results found in the QAP report, please submit your request to


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