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Meth and HIV test
Mar 19, 2011

I've searched the archives and have found nothing that addresses this, so I'm hoping you can help me out. I smoked meth on a Saturday starting at around 3pm until sometime Sunday morning around 5am. This was not continuous but that was the time frame that I was using.

Around 6am that morning I freaked out about my status. I had been having numerous symptoms for the past year, had never been tested, and had some risky encounters in my past. Being high on drugs, this all came crashing down on me and I completely lost it. I cried all Sunday morning and ended up calling an AIDS Organization, not really expecting an answer but short of going to the ER not sure what else to do.

To my surprise someone answered and realizing how distraut I was, agreed to meet me at the office and test me. I immediately jumped in the shower and hit the road. It took me about two hours total to make it there and I smoked cigarette after cigarette on the way.

I got there, met the nice gentleman who was taking time out of his Sunday to listen to my woeful tale, and he gave me an Oraquick Oral Fluid test. It came back negative. I was once again calm and in control of my life. I went home and never smoked meth again.

Now I'm having MORE symptoms. No need to list them, as you've heard them all before, however, mine are persistant and increasing by the week (I'm honestly not exaggerating).

Now for the question: Being that the HIV test was an oral fluid test, would the fact that I had been smoking meth for about twelve hours, as well as numerous cigarettes up until the point of the test, have any effect on the result?

I have googled this and have found nothing. Studies have been done regarding brushing the teeth and smoking a cigarette prior to the oral fluid test, but unfortunately no one has done a study that involves drug use. Understandable, but unfortunate.

What do you think Dr Bob? Should I test again? Is it possible I screwed up the test by smoking that awful drug? Could I really be positive? Please, give me your thoughts on this.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Neither meth nor chain smoking cigarettes would alter the validity or accuracy of an HIV oral fluid test. The reason no one has done a study evaluating meth use is that meth is illegal, remember? Such a study would be unethical. However, there is no medical reason to suggest meth would alter test results.

If you remain worried, despite my reassurance, you could retest using another methodology (blood test).I'm confident the result will be the same.

Stay away from "that awful drug." It will destroy your health, happiness, and life!

Dr. Bob



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