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Follow-up on DILS
Mar 28, 2010

Dr. Holodniy,

I was reading a question to you about DILS. Although I've had HIV going on a decade, I'm still learning about all this. I was reading that DILS may be responsible for LTNPs. Many have been surprised that my numbers have stayed very good without meds over the years. Does this DILS thing have something to do with having a high CD8 count? Mine is always around 1800. However, I was reading that this situation seen to be a good thing may cause a type of lymphoma.

I just had another quick question. Has any research been done on HIVers who get swollen lymph nodes and those who don't? I've read where some get this after infection and many others don't. I know my lymph nodes were swollen all over for about 5 years after infection. I had them in the neck, shoulders, under chin, and groin. I can still feel little ones in my neck. It got me wondering whether this says anything about how our bodies are fighting the virus? Would swollen lymph nodes possibly mean the body is putting up a big fight? Or, does it not mean anything at all?

Thanks for all your help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Great questions again. I am not sure we have enough data to answer them. Swollen lymph nodes are a very nonspecific finding. Many people with HIV infection have them and many do not. Whether LTNP have more, or bigger ones, is not clear. The increased CD8 response in HIV infection or in LTNP is also still unfolding, as we get better, more sophisticated tests to measure not only number, but function of these very important cells.



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