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Is HIV present even when they are not swollen?
Sep 23, 2002

I am HIV+ and I have a question regarding whereabouts in my body the virus is present.I have read that only a small of the virus is in the bloodstream. My question is 'would the virus be present in ALL my bodies lymph nodes or just in some and would virus be present in the lymph nodes even when they are not swollen'.i.e in the absence of Meds if you tested any of the lymph nodes of a HIV+ person would you find HIV present?

Many Thanks

Response from Dr. Dezube

You read correctly in that only a small amount of the virus is in the bloodstream. The virus gets around to most places in the body, but particularly in the lymph nodes. The virus resides in the lymph nodes even if the lymph nodes are not swollen. Typically HIV-infected lymph nodes swell as they attempt to fight off the infection. Many of the HIV medicines treat not just the virus in the blood stream, but also the virus in the lymph nodes. Blood bathes the entire body' that's the purpose of blood-- to transport oxygen. Wherever blood goes, so goes the HIV virus. But again, just like the blood which goes everywhere, so go HIV medicines. These medicines get to most places in the body.

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