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Author Topic: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?  (Read 5539 times)

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Offline newbieguy

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On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« on: May 17, 2012, 06:52:44 PM »
This topic has been touched on before, but I am (hopefully) about to start a new job and so it is relevant. I am on Atripla and have been since 2010. It's no secret that sometimes on drug tests Atripla can cause a false positive. I brought this up with my doctor, and she wrote me a note stating that "I am on a medication for a medical condition which may render a false positive for THC". She kept it vague of course. I asked her for this note, and she was very willing to write it for me. My question is, how should I handle this when I take a drug test? Should I just take the test and hope it comes back negative for THC, and only if it came back positive, THEN state that I am on a medication? Or should I just take the drug test, and show the tester up front my note? If my future employer sends me off somewhere for the drug test, there is supposed to be confidentiality right? Meaning they would not tell my employer about my "medical condition" causing the false positive if it occured? But what if they don't send me off for the test, and do it in-house? Should I still be up front with them and show them my doctor's note, without saying what medical condition I have? The latter is my inclination, since I have the note, to be upfront about it.....

I just really need this job, and don't want me being on Atripla to spoil my chances..Lastly, this job would be in a controlled care semi-medical facility for the handicapped, so would that hurt my chances? I just wouldn't want whoever did the drug test to go and tell my potential employer that "this guy has some unknown medical condition" and it to hurt my chances.....Just would love to get some of your all's thoughts on this...Thanks for any input/advice, xo.  8)

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 08:07:19 PM »
Your gut instincts are right. (always follow your gut instincts!) Be upfront about it. They are legally bound to not ask you about details. (Patient confidentiality - and if they do ask, don't answer. You don't have to. Look into HIPAA laws.)

HIPAA laws should also protect you against the scenario you're imagining - "whoever did the drug test to go and tell my potential employer that "this guy has some unknown medical condition" and it to hurt my chances" They're not allowed to say anything of the sort.

Hiv should in no way affect the job you want to do. After all, you're not planning on having unprotected intercourse with your clients, are you.

There are more specific tests that can be administered when they know you might throw a false THC positive. So yes, give them your doctor's letter.

Good luck with the job, and keep us posted!

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Offline darryaz

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Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 10:26:06 PM »
Ask the lab about the drug-testing procedure.  I was drug tested a couple of years ago and didn't have a problem (I'm on Atripla too so I asked).

The lab where I tested informed me that if I tested positive for any substance I would be given the opportunity to present a doctor's verification that I was taking a drug known to produce a false positive result for that substance.  My doctor would present this verification TO THE LAB, not to the employer.  At that point the lab would report a NEGATIVE result to the prospective employer.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 10:40:30 PM »
The process would be to give the note in advance - they then use a different testing method on the blood sample.

Giving it after a false positive is rendered makes it appear that you have something to hide (i.e. THC use)....

I went through the exact same thing - except my doc was wise and told me to present it upfront to the lab - they don't reveal anything to the employer - as the only thing the employer wants to know is did your test come back clear or not.

Simple as that. Presenting it after the fact, when a test has come back positive for THC, is going to lead to you having to disclose to both the lab (after the fact) and they are going to ask why you didn't present it prior to the test and you would have to disclose the reason for the false positive to your potential employer (i.e. medication you are on) and they are also going to wonder why you didn't let the lab know that upfront.

Best of luck on the new job!  Congrats!
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline newbieguy

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Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 04:27:13 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice everyone, you all are so helpful! I agree I will be upfront about it and present my doctor's note from the get-go, so they know I am being honest and open about it....So you guys think they will probably send me off to a lab for the drug test and not do it in-house? What if they do do it in-house? Do the confidentiality things still apply? Since the place I would be working at is a semi-medical facility, it makes me wonder if they will do it on-site and not send me to a lab, but I could be wrong....Thanks again everyone for the input, really appreciate it and I am hoping I get the job!  8)

Offline 3amr

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Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 07:24:43 PM »
Best of luck my friend on this job. I have a similar problem here that I wish you guys help me get over it.  I am 25, Just discovered being infected 6 months ago. The fact is that after this discovery I was deprived of many job opportunities especially in the gulf because of HIV. Now, I have got a scholarship for one year in the states, but they require me to do a medical check-up with a list including HIV test. I am really disappointed and don know how to deal with this. I had many crazy ideas going in mind (bribing the hospital/ taking some unknown medicine to hide my infection....etc. it seems that I can't do anything without this test which really makes my life miserable. I also would like to tell you that no one of my family or friends know about this as it is really sensitive here and they may end any bonds we have. I hope you share you thoughts with me as I really need someone to talk with.

Offline darryaz

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  • Posts: 450
Re: On Atripla, False Positive Drug Test, Employment?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 08:52:16 AM »
Yes, HIPAA absolutely applies to employers as well as health care professionals.


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