Eleven laboratories evaluated the use of dried blood and plasma spots for quantitation of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) RNA by two commercially available RNA assays, the Roche Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor and the bioMerieux NucliSens HIV-1 QT assays. The recovery of HIV RNA was linear over a dynamic range extending from 4,000 to 500,000 HIV type 1 RNA copies/ml. The Monitor assay appeared to have a broader dynamic range and seemed more sensitive at lower concentrations. However, the NucliSens assay gave more consistent results and could be performed without modification of the kit. HIV RNA was stable in dried whole blood or plasma stored at room temperature or at -70°C for up to 1 year. Dried blood and dried plasma spots can be used as an easy and inexpensive means for the collection and storage of specimens under field conditions for the diagnosis of HIV infection and the monitoring of antiretroviral therapy.