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Wrongly Testing Positive for Marijuana Use due to HIV mediations
Jan 13, 2002

To qualify for a civil service title I may be asked to take a drug test -- not to worry as I am clean and sober. My concern is that I may test positive for marijuana as I am taking Sustiva along with Trizivir. If that were to happen how do I best insure the confidentiality of my HIV status while explaining that a false positive drug test is realted to my HIV medications?

Response from Dr. Cohen

Well, there are no other meds other than Sustiva that interact with some of the marijuana testing systems that I know of. There are some test systems that don't interact - you can ask the lab director for this listing and just get the tests that don't interact and you'd be fine. That may be the easiest way out of this mess.

But if the test you use does mistake marijuana for Sustiva - there is no other use for Sustiva other than the treatment of HIV. Except for preventing HIV -- this is the other reason someone would be negative and on this drug. But no other good reason that I know of to use in case your test does come up positive - no other reason for a false positive, that is.

So there is no clear way to avoid the issue of HIV if you plan to use the Sustiva issue as the explanation of a positive test. Either treatment or prevention. Since there are no other reasons to be on Sustiva. You could try to find other reasons - but as far as I know that is about it.

So one other option --- ask a lawyer. They occasionally have some angle that we physicians miss in such cases...

Good luck.



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