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

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Lymph Nodes
Sep 8, 2002

I was recently diagnosed with HIV and I figured I had the virus because my lymph nodes became enlarged. How can I make them go down? Can I have them removed ?

Response from Dr. Wohl


Swollen lymph nodes are common during HIV infection. The virus itself concentrates in the immune cells that live in these nodes and prompts a reaction leading to their enlargement.

I usually tell my patients not to worry about nodes that remain swollen over time as it indicates the body is fighting the virus. However, new swelling of just one or several glands on one side of the body, especially if they are close to one another, should be examined by a clinician to exlude lymphoma which is rare but a concern. If, however, the nodes are swollen on both sides and have been without much change over time, I'd be less concerned.

Once people begin HIV therapy, the nodes usually shrink. I would not have them removed as the lymph nodes are performing an important function in fighting HIV and other infections. In addition, removal of lymph nodes can lead to build up of fluid in the places they drain which can be very nasty.

If your nodes are not painful or disfiguring, I would try to learn to, at least, appreciate them if not love them. - DW

8 years already, and still not on medications
pricing of T-20

  • 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