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Swollen inguinal nodes after sex with a prostitute
Jan 13, 2002

I had protected vaginal sex and unprotected oral (I received) with a prostitute. I tested for HIV at 17 weeks post exposure, which was negative. After having sex with my HIV negative girlfriend, I developed sore inguinal lymph nodes on the right side. This happened six weeks ago and they are still persisting, though they have waxed and waned a bit. Now they are between 1 cm and 1.5 cm at the largest. Given the timeline I have given you, what should I be asking my Dr. to do? Should I be making any connection between what happened with the prostitute and my swollen lymph nodes now? I am at a loss.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Lymph nodes in the inguinal (groin) area are very common and do not necessarily mean that you have HIV disease. However, you are still at risk and I would recommend a repeat HIV test. If you have not tested positive for HIV by 6 months, then you can breathe much easier.

I have to believe that if you have visited a prostitute at least once, then you are at risk for visiting them again. This puts both you and your HIV-negative girlfriend at risk. I would urge you to discuss this situation with either your health care provider or mental health worker (do you have one?). Even if you lucked out this time in terms of not getting HIV, it is unlikely that you will be so lucky each and every time.


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