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Urine testing at my work and HIV meds
Jun 25, 2012

Hello Doctor Firstly, thank you for such a wonderful resource as this website. I was diagnosed on 10th June, and am advised by my doctor that I am weeks, if not months away from commencing treatment. I work in heavy industry/ manufacturing and we are randonly selected for alcohol and other drug testing using urine samples. As well, it is common practice in this industry to submit urine samples as part of a pre employment medical screening process. Once I commence medication, what will appear in my urine samples? I have heard that one HIV medication can appear as cannibinoids. This aspect of my HIV status is causing me much concern and angst. Kind regards Richard

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I think that you are probably getting ahead of the thought process. There are many factors that impact the decision on when to start and what medications to use, but an over riding principle is to individualize care whenever possible.

Only one drug was historically associated with false positive urine drug tests, namely efavirenz (Sustiva, part of Atripla). Current drug tests no longer have this problem. Furthermore, one might rightly question if efavirenz is the best medication for you since it sounds as if you might be a heavy equipment operator (and one of the early side effects of the medication is neuropsychological).

So, be sure to dialog about this (and all other) concerns with your health care provider.

Be well, BY

Just diagnosed with kaposis and HIV neg 3 months ago
Memory loss, from Indonesia.

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