Yup. If you look in the httpd.conf file there's a line that tells Apache which user to become. In fact, Apache has to start as root to listen on port 80 (only root can bind to ports < 1024). So Apache starts as root and then drops privileges to the user specified in httpd.conf.
If you really need to become the Apache user for some reason try:
su -s /bin/bash apache
This will override /etc/passwd and start a bash shell as Apache (I believe this is only doable if you're root).