Laboratory testing of HIV in Victoria is delivered via a two-tiered
system. The blood bank and approved public and private laboratories
undertake screening tests to detect antibodies to HIV. All reactive
specimens are referred to VIDRL, where confirmatory testing by
western blot is performed.
Confirmation of antibody status by western blot is required for
diagnosis of HIV infection and all newly diagnosed cases are notified
to the Department of Human Services, Victoria (DHS) by VIDRL.
The laboratory also performs HIV antibody screening tests for
the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and other sexual health clinics.
The serology reference laboratory provides specimens to the National
Serology Reference Laboratory for inclusion in quality assessment
panels which are distributed to all Victorian testing sites three
times per year. Results are analysed and reported to participating
laboratories and the Department of Human Services.