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lymph nodes-resubmitted from Fatigue and Anemia Forum
Jul 4, 2011

Hello doctor,the doctors i went to couldn't give me any answers since it is very hard in my country to find hiv specialists so i turn to you.Your help will be greatly appreciated.First of all i've been diagnosed with major depression a year ago.I've had very risky sexual encounters,the last one was 7 weeks ago and i have swollen lymph nodes in my neck for 6 weeks.I went to 3 different doctors.The last time i went,they did a neck ultrasound and it showed enlarged lymph nodes.I have used antibiotics after 2 weeks of my exposure(the first time i went to a doctor after my exposure) but they didn't help.Last week the lymph nodes at the right side of my neck start hurting,(though the left side is enlarged too.)it hurt to swallow and i felt pain in my right ear so i went to a doctor again(the time they did a neck ultrasound) and they prescribed antibiotics and non sterodial anti-inflammatories(but my blood tests were normal no infection,no cancerious cells etc.).I've been on antibiotics for 3 days now and the pain and size of lymph nodes are reduced.I've been tested (ELISA) at 4 weeks which came back negative.But the lymph nodes come and go so i can't believe now it is the medications that are making them better.I'm 22 and very scared.Is it possible for ARS to go on this long(6 weeks) and are the lymph nodes that come and go a sign of ARS? Thank you very muck in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

If by "very risky sexual encounters" you are referring to unprotected sex, you would be at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV, and therefore HIV testing would be warranted. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. If you put yourself at risk for HIV, you need to be tested, whether or not you have symptoms. It really is just that straightforward. Your negative ELISA at four weeks is encouraging, but not yet conclusive. You'll need to wait until the three-month mark for definitive result. (The CDC also recommends a six-month test for "significant" HIV exposures, such as receptive anal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV infected.)

You're welcome very "muck"!

Dr. Bob



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