Considerations for Collecting Blood Samples for HIV Drug Resistance Monitoring3234

Sample TypeStorageTransport and ShipmentEquipmentTraining NeededBlood Testing Capability
DBSAmbient temperature storage for up to 14a days;
Long term storage in non-frost-free -20°C freezer or ≤-70°C freezer
DBS cards may be transported in an envelope to the lab at ambient temperature within 14 daysDBS cards, blood tube, and pipette to spot the cardsMinimal training required; clinical staff may have DBS experience with infant HIV testingFive spots (per DBS card), limiting amount of blood available for testing; quality control or troubleshooting
Whole blood (for plasma)Whole blood can be refrigerated prior to shipment (up to 24 hours) or immediately processed for plasma to be kept in ≤-70°C freezer for storageWhole blood optimally shipped using ice packs;
Plasma must be shipped on dry ice and stored at ≤-70°C
EDTA blood tube to collect whole blood (heparin not suitable); centrifuge needed to separate plasma from bloodMinimal training required for whole blood collection; additional laboratory training required for plasma preparationQuantity of blood collected in tube allows for HIVDR, with leftover blood available for quality control or troubleshooting
  • Abbreviations: DBS, dried blood spot; EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; HIVDR, HIV drug resistance.

  • a The GEMS project aimed to complete sample transport within 5 days.