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HIV progression/effect on lymph nodes
Jul 27, 2003

Dr. Dezube, Do you find that, as HIV disease progresses, lymph nodes no longer get enlarged, even if they are sensitive? If so, why is this? A breakdown in the ability of the body to defend itself?


Response from Dr. Dezube

As you can imagine, there is no clear cut answer which applies to all patients. In general, lymph nodes swell early in the course of HIV infection as the body tries to fight off HIV. As the course of HIV infection progresses, the lymph nodes tend to regress. HOWEVER, I have seen many, many patients with advanced AIDS who never lose their lymph nodes. It is important to bring to the attention of your health care provider any lymph nodes, which are unusual when compared to other lymph nodes, e.g. if one lymph node was growing much faster than all the others.

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