Procedures for Submitting Specimens to The Wadsworth Center for Court-Ordered HIV Testing of Defendants

Specimens from defendants may be submitted to the Wadsworth Center for HIV antibody/antigen and HIV RNA testing. Carefully follow all instructions provided below to ensure the specimen is acceptable for testing. Call the Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory at (518) 474-2163 for further information.

  1. Specimen mailing kit: Call the NYSDOH Wadsworth Center Order Desk at 518-474-4175 to request an HIV specimen mailing kit. Alternatively, sites can use their own blood collection tubes, specimen packaging materials and shipping supplies.
  2. Requisition form: Complete the Infectious Disease Requisition Form (DOH-4463) , available at Under ‘Laboratory Examination Requested’ check ‘HIV/HCV’ and write ‘Defendant Testing’ in the space provided.  In the ‘Clinical and Exposure History’ section write the date of the alleged assault.  Be sure to include the patient’s name, the submitting physician’s name, NPI, address and phone number, the date and time of blood collection on the requisition form. 
  3. Blood collection: Label specimen tube with two unique identifiers (e.g. name, date of birth, or patient number). These identifiers must match the requisition form exactly. 
  4. Acceptable sample types include EDTA whole blood, EDTA plasma, or serum. 

    Sample Type How to Collect How to Ship
    EDTA Whole Blood

    Collect blood in lavender-top EDTA tube and invert gently 8-10 times.

    Minimum volume of whole blood: 3mL

    Ship at room temperature; lab must receive within 3 days of collection. DO NOT FREEZE WHOLE BLOOD.
    EDTA Plasma

    Collect blood in plasma preparation tube (PPT) or lavendar-top EDTA tube and invert gently 8-10 times. Centrifuge and transfer plasma into labelled sterile plastic vial. If using PPT, plasma can remain in the primary tube.

    Minimum volume of plasma: 2mL

    Store at 2-8C and ship in insulated shipper on frozen cold packs (preferred) or at room temperature. Lab must receive within 7 days of collection.

    Collect blood in red-top or SST (gold-top) tube. Allow specimens to clot at room temperature, centrifuge, and transfer serum into labelled sterile plastic vial. If using SST, serum can remain in the primary tube.

    Minimum volume of serum: 2mL

  5. Shipping: Package specimen according to the directions supplied with the specimen mailing kit or accounding to IATA Infectious Substance Shipping Regulations. Send the Speciment by overnight express, priority mail, or hand delivery to:
    • Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory
      Attn: Defendant Testing
      New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Venter
      David Axelrod Institute
      120 New Scotland Avenue
      Albany, NY 12208

    Notify the Laboratory by phone at (518) 474-2163 that a defendant testing specimen has been shipped and provide the shipping tracking number, if applicable. If no one is available to take the call, leave this information on the laboratory's voicemail and include the submitter's name and contact information in the message.

  6. Delivery: If a specimen is delivered after normal working house, the telephone located outside the front door of the David Axelrod Institute may be used to contact security personnel. A security officer will come to receive and refrigerate the package until the Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory personnel can retrieve the speciment.
  7. Reporting: The Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory will report test results to the medical provider of record listed on the requisition form. Results will be sent via the CLIMS application on the Health Commerce System as soon as testing has been completed.