The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

AIDS-Related CancersAIDS-Related Cancers
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Which lymph node swelling should prompt HIV testing?
May 3, 2003

Which particular lymph nodes would be suspicious for hiv infection. I realize they can't be used to diagnose hiv infection, but in the presence of a high risk exposure, and harsh viral symptoms following several weeks later, I think it's a fair question. Which nodes swelling should send someone to the doctor for an hiv test?

Response from Dr. Dezube

I too think it's a fair question, i.e. which lymph node testing should prompt HIV testing. There's no easy answer to this. HIV typically causes swelling of lymph nodes in most sites, internal and external-- These could include lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, groin and so on. One group of swollen nodes is not necessarily more or less worrisome than another group of nodes with regard to HIV testing. Nodes that persist for more than a month or so worry me more than the typical nodes which come and go after a routine upper respiratory infection. The vast majority of folks with enlarged lymph nodes do NOT have HIV; rather their body is fighting off an infection. I have a very low threshhold for ordering HIV testing in sexually active patients. Knowledge is power. Certainly in your case, high risk exposure and viral symptoms, HIV testing is very appropriate.

my left testical hurts but it's not swollen
is there a difference between lymphadenopathy and a palpable lymph node?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint