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not guilty as charged
Jun 10, 2001

I am HIV positive and am on medications. I am also a recovering alcoholic and addict. I attend a day program for substance abuse and am tested regularly for substances. I have frequently tested positive for Marijuana, but I have not used this substance for over a year or any other for over 6 months. I am curently and have been taking the following meds: Acyclovir, Sustiva, Combivir, Dapsone, Zithromax, Vit. C, and Multi Vit.. My question is, do you have any knowledge of any of these meds. causing a positive test result for Marijuana. -please e.mail at ...

Response from Dr. Cohen

Well - as it turns out - Sustiva or Efavirenz, also known as Stocrin overseas - can result in a false positive test for marijuana - on Some but not All testing methods. In order to handle this however, you may have to be willing to "out" yourself to whoever is doing the testing - since there are no other drugs I know of that can create such a false positive reading. So you can, hopefully, tell them you on are on a medication that requires that they use a different brand of test. The people in labs who actually do the tests should know about this and be able to use an alternative method that does not result in a false positive when Sustiva is there.

But it means revealing your HIV status - since this is the only med, and HIV is the only reason to be on it. Hopefully that is not an additional issue in the way for you... PS - your email address came thru but I posted this here hoping it would be seen by you and the many others for whom this issue can be relevant. Cal Cohen



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