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Horrible neck pain, very worried
Nov 30, 2006

Hi Doctor Robert,

I have taken the advice you give to everyone on here and researched through A LOT of the Q&A's on here (even the ones from 1996 and 1997), but have yet to find a definitive answer.

A month ago i experienced a possible exposure to hiv. Just a few days ago, i started having abnormal neck pains in the side, front and back of my neck. I know these aren't normal muscle cramps, as I can sometimes feel them when im not even moving and other times when i rotate or turn my head, i get a tight, slight ache/pain in those areas. Today they have become a lot more pronounced and worse.

I cannot tell if my lymph nodes/glands are swollen, but was wondering would this be a common symptom if they were swollen? Would swollen nodes cause this much pain/ stiffness all around the neck? It's freakin me out cuz the pain is so obvious. But I read somewhere that most people that have swollen lymph nodes from hiv, arent usually painful??

Any help would be greatly appreciated Robert. Hope all is well, and if this does get posted I suggest everyone to SEARCH THROUGH THE OLD MESSAGES (IN CERTAIN CATEGORIES) AS THEY ARE FILLED WITH A LOT OF INFORMATION.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The symptoms you describe are not at all typical of HIV. The lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) associated with HIV disease are generalized (not just located in the neck) and not painful. If your neck is sore, see your doctor. Most likely it's a muscle strain or sprain.

Regarding your "possible exposure," if you placed yourself at risk for HIV, you should get an HIV test at the three-month mark, whether or not you have any symptoms. It really is just that straightforward!

I strongly support your suggestion that folks avail themselves of the wealth of information in the archives!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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