Taking Panadol Before an HIV Test Will Mask a Positive Status?

Taking Panadol Before an HIV Test Will Mask a Positive Status?
March 23, 2023 RESZON

A viral TikTok video claims that people with HIV can hide their status by taking medication, even painkillers like paracetamol, before an HIV test. This is not true. The only way to attain undetectable viral levels is through taking and adhering to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

Taking over-the-counter medication like Panadol (paracetamol) or other common medications will not mask a positive status for HIV. These medications do not interfere with the HIV test results and are unlikely to affect the accuracy of the test. Therefore, it is safe to take these medications before an HIV test.

However, it is important to inform the healthcare provider conducting the test of any medications or supplements that you are taking, as some prescription medications or herbal supplements can potentially affect the accuracy of the test. This is because certain drugs and supplements can interfere with the immune system and produce false-positive or false-negative results.


HIV can be diagnosed through rapid diagnostic tests that provide same-day results. This greatly facilitates early diagnosis and linkage with treatment and care. HIV infection can be detected with great accuracy using WHO-prequalified tests within a nationally approved testing strategy and algorithm.

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  1. Julian Kamau (2023) “Kenya: No Evidence That Taking Any Medication ‘Including Panadol’ Before an HIV Test Will Mask a Positive Status” AllAfrica Global Media, Accessed on 17th March 2023
  2. Haleyur Giri Setty MK, Lee S, Lathrop J, Hewlett IK. Biotin Interference in Point of Care HIV Immunoassay. Biores Open Access. 2020 Nov 24;9(1):243-246. doi: 10.1089/biores.2020.0038. PMID: 33269113; PMCID: PMC7703309.