The Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory (BVL) focuses on clinical and public health laboratory activities related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). The BVL is involved in a wide range of testing, surveillance and applied research activities. Laboratory services include:
- Clinical Testing: Testing services include the Pediatric HIV Diagnostic Testing Service for perinatally exposed infants, referral testing for HIV rapid testing sites, HIV-2 nucleic acid testing and testing to resolve difficult cases.
- Surveillance: The BVL collaborates with the NYSDOH Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology on HIV surveillance projects for New York State and serves as a testing laboratory for national HIV surveillance programs.
- Public Health Investigations: The BVL works closely with epidemiologists on outbreak investigations involving bloodborne viruses, particularly those involving healthcare facilities. The lab employs a number of viral genotyping and sequence analysis techniques to help identify the source of infections under investigation and assess the risk to the public.
- Research: The BVL evaluates the performance of available diagnostic test methods and, where needs exist, the laboratory develops and validates new laboratory assays for HIV and HCV. In addition, the BVL collaborates with public health scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of Public Health Laboratories as well as investigators at academic institutions on an assortment of research projects.
- Training/Education: The BVL welcomes graduate students from the University at Albany School of Public Health and Fellows from a variety of Fellowship Programs. Opportunities include short-term rotations and longer-term applied research projects. Research projects are typically focused on development and validation of molecular diagnostic assays and genotyping methods for HIV and hepatitis C virus.