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Are swollen lymph nodes a CONSTANT feature in HIV/AIDS?
Feb 17, 2002

Please let me know whether swollen lymph nodes is a constant feature in HIV/AIDS

Response from Dr. Dezube

Swollen lymph nodes are extremely common in HIV/AIDS. They are a sign that the body is trying to fight off infection. Usually lymph nodes are more prominent early on in HIV infection. You ask, are they a CONSTANT feature? I would have to answer this with a "No". I certainly have patients in my practice with HIV infection with no nodes which I can feel and who don't have nodes on x-rays. I also have patients in my practice with huge nodes, many of which have been biopsied. Most commonly their lymph nodes are "reactive" in nature. The word "reactive" means that their bodies are just trying to fend off the HIV virus.

We get more concerned with lymph nodes if one is way out of proportion to the other lymph nodes, if they grow over time, or if they are associated with symptoms such fever, chills, night sweats, and weight loss.


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