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If you have swollen glands and are HIV negative, does this mean that you don't have HIV infection?
Jan 25, 2002

I have a question about swollen glands. The presence of swollen glands indicates that the body is fighting against an infection. Therefore if a man has a swollen glands and his HIV test is negative, then does this mean the swollen glands are due to another cause (other virus, bacterias, lymphomas)?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Enlarged Lymph nodes (also known as swollen glands) are indeed often nothing more than the body's attempt to fight off an infection. If you are HIV negative, then it is unlikely that you have a chronic HIV infection. However, right after a patient gets a new primary infection, s(he) may have enlarged lymph nodes and a negative HIV test. The reason for the negative HIV test is simply that it takes time after an acute primary infection for the body to learn how to produce antibodies to the HIV virus. If 6 months after a potential exposure to HIV, you are still HIV negative and if you still have lymph nodes, then the lymph nodes are no doubt due to something else.

[Readers should also refer to my other responses about lymph nodes for more details].


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