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Should I be worried?
Dec 14, 2012

Hi, i was recently tested HIV positive on September 2012 and my CD4 count was 628. However, the lymph nodes around my neck, under jaw, even they exist on my right collar bone area. Doctor said it is a common symptom, just need to observe the size of the swollen lymp nodes. Honestly, the amount is increasing! And I'm getting more and more worried. Here in Malaysia, only government hospital treats HIV patient, the efficiency and the service is quite poor.

i am writing to ask, swollen lymph nodes means they are producing antibody to fight against the HIV virus, will my swollen lymph nodes go back to its normal size? Any other medicine that I can use right now to reduce my swollen lymph nodes, as I have CD4 628, HIV med isn't my choice for now. What else can I do to make sure the swollen lymp nodes go away...? Please advise.. Should I be worried about this symptoms? It has been swelling for 3 months and more now.. From under jaw to side of my neck and now collar bone area...

Response from Mr. Vergel

You only recently started taking HIV medications.

This problem tends to improve, but you have to give it time. However, if you think the swelling really gets worse and worrisome after the first 6 months, talk to your doctor. Lymphoma is not too common in HIV but it can happen to a minority of patients (even those with undetectable HIV viral load).

Immune activation and inflammatory responses are high when we have high viral load and could be even higher during the first months of therapy, but they tend to decrease as weeks go by with effective antiretrovirals. Also, it takes a while for HIV reservoirs in lymph nodes to decrease (some work looking at this has been presented lately in conferences).

Other viruses can also cause enlarged lymph nodes (Epstein Barr, herpes, etc)

I had enlarged lymph nodes in my neck and groin area for a few months after I finally got to undetectable viral load at the end of a 25 year exposure to HIV. It took a few months to have their size decrease. But some still remain easily by palpation even after 3 years of undectectable viral load.

I am glad you started HIV treatment!

I hope this helps!

Nelson



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