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Employment drug screening while HIV+
Jul 10, 2003

First of all I'll start by saying I love this website! It's very informative. My question is during the hiring process when applying for a new job, some employers require a drug screening test which includes a urine specimen and/or a blood test.While not letting my new employer know that I'm HIV+, do you know if the drug screening test will detect hiv medications in the urine and/or blood? Will the hiv medications produce a false positive test result for narcotics or cocaine or whatever drugs they test for when the random drug screening test is performed? I'm a little worried about it and your advice will help. By the way, I don't do recreational drugs. Thank you in advance for your insight.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Great question. If you take Sustiva, it can cause a positive test for cannabis. Beyond that, I'm not sure of possible triggers among the antiretrovirals. Please pose this question to your pharmacist so that you can get a complete picture based on your own meds. If your pharmacist sees a potential misleading result, I recommend having your doc write a letter (To whom it may concern) with a date on it that precedes the date of your pre-employment screening. In the letter, the doc should state that you take prescribed meds that could trigger a false positive result for _____(whichever recreational drug is involved) but that he/she has no evidence that you are using that drug. In no circumstances should the letter name your diagnosis! If the new employer asks for the diagnosis, you should suggest that to respect your confidentiality, you would be glad to put your doc in direct contact with the lab that runs the tests. That would give your doc another chance to remind the lab that your diagnosis is confidential.

Good luck on the job application!

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