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Swollen Nodes in Groin & Armpit?

Jan 28, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob:

I am a 31 year-old married male. I have had numerous sexual exploits in my life and began to start worrying about HIV when I met my wife. Plus, about 2 years ago I began noticing swollen/strange feeling nodes in my groin.

I get these swollen nodes about every 4-6 months, and sometimes I get them in my armpit at same time as groin. They usually last about a week. This got so scary for me that I ultimately was tested for HIV, which came out negative.

Last week, I got swollen nodes in my groin, armpit and under my chin at the same time. But I am not even sure they are swollen because I feel the groin nodes and they feel normal to the touch (but strange feeling), and I can't even find my armpit nodes when I think they are swollen. I know that swollen nodes in multiple areas at the same time is a sign of HIV, but I was negative and have been faithful with my wife.

Therefore, my question is as follows: (1) Would I know if my nodes were swollen, i.e. so noticeable there would be no mistake; and, (2) What other conditions would cause swollen nodes in armpit and groin at same time; and, (3) Do swollen nodes appear at first stage of HIV only, or do they remain constant, or do they manifest every once in a while. Scared because what if my test was inaccurate.

PS, I noticed that many of the persons who make inquiries make donations. Is there a link on the website for that, or how do I do that? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino


1. Perhaps, but not necessarily. Unless you've been to medical school and been trained in physical diagnosis, you are not really qualified to determine normal from abnormal or even to know what you're poking at!

2. The list of medical conditions causing lymphadenopathy (swollen glands) is enormous.

3. It's variable from case to case.

Why are you worried about an inaccurate HIV test? False-negative HIV tests are exceedingly rare. Your fears are unwarranted. You should be WOO-HOOing, not worrying!

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed well!)

Dr. Bob

pep broken condom
chichenpox = ARS??

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