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aids specimen bank

The UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank (ASB) observes the following requirements concerning the depositing, processing, storage, and withdrawal of specimens:


  1. Proposal: The depositor (investigator) must submit in writing a formal proposal to the UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank for the use of the repository and processing services. The proposal must contain the following information: purpose of study; number of patients and visits; defined diagnoses, where applicable; name of study, where applicable; amount and specimen type to be collected; name, telephone, fax, and e-mail of contact person(s) (Project manger or coordinator of the study); and CV of the investigator.
  2. CHR Approval: Studies without UCSF CHR approval will not be accepted. A copy of the approved consent form must contain a section in which the patient is made aware that their specimens will be stored at the UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank and that the patient has the right to have all specimens removed and destroyed upon their request. A copy of the approval letter, consent form, and approved protocol must be sent to the ASB for review.
  3. Funding: There are two main methods for reimbursing the ASB:
    • A recharge account may be set up for charging personnel, supplies, and other expenses generated by a project. The UCSF DPA and Fund numbers to which all expenses related to the project will be charged for each fiscal year must be provided to the ASB director prior to acceptance of the project.
    • The AIDS Specimen Bank may be included in a federal- or state-funded grant with a budget that has been approved by the granting agency. In such a case, the ASB is assigned its own DPA/Fund, and the Department of Orofacial Sciences will help to administer the grant funds awarded to the bank.
  4. Deposit Form: The depositor agrees to use the AIDS Specimen Bank deposit form for each specimen. The ASB data manager will contact the PI or study coordinator to design a deposit form specific to their study.
  5. Storage: Specimens will be kept in storage until the study has terminated. If an investigator intends to keep the specimens for a period of time past the study’s termination date, then the investigator will be charged a monthly storage fee. If funds are not available to pay for long-term storage, arrangements must be made to have all specimens removed from the ASB and shipped to a facility designated by the investigator or, alternately, disposed of at the expense of the investigator. The ASB will not release the last vial of any depositor’s specimen. The depositor will be notified if there is a request for a specimen that has only one vial left in storage.
  6. Identifiers: Specimens will be assigned an AIDS Specimen Bank accession number (example: AS99-0100). No personal identifiers will be used.
  7. Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    Deliveries: All specimens must arrive for processing no later than 3:00 PM Monday–Thursday, by noon Fridays. Notices will be sent via e-mail informing all clients of pending holidays and required dates and time for delivery of specimens to accommodate for the bank’s closure.


  1. If there is a request for the use of a depositor’s specimens, the ASB director(s) will contact for permission the investigator(s) who deposited the requested specimens in the bank. If the investigator approves, specimens will be released.
  2. The requestor must provide the ASB with an IRB approval number and a copy of their approved protocol for working with the requested specimens.
  3. The depositing investigator may request that they (and others) be included as co-author(s) if a published paper or presentation is made based on the use of their specimens and data.
  4. Once the ASB receives all pertinent data (study name, patient study numbers, date of collection, specimen type, address of facility where specimens will be shipped), we will normally process the order within three weeks; more time may be needed, depending on the size of the order. Note: Rush orders will be charged a higher fee.
  5. All specimens will be identified by an ASB accession number (example: AS99-0100) placed on the vial.
  6. A member of the ASB staff will contact the facility receiving requested specimens to inform them when to expect arrival of a shipment. For Federal Express shipments, the airbill number will be provided. The recipient must call the ASB by 4:00 PM to inform them whether an expected package has arrived. If it has not, the ASB will place a tracer on the package.
  7. Results generated by the use of ASB specimens to be published in a paper or presented as a poster, oral presentation, or abstract must acknowledge the UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank. The ASB must be sent a copy of the written work.
  8. If an investigator requests to have specimens sent to a prescribed laboratory and there are remaining samples left at the laboratory, the ASB has the right to refuse to store the “used” specimens.


The ASB has recently adopted a specimen return policy PDF

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