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persistent lymphadenopathy

Mar 7, 1997

Hello Doctor, Could you explain persisten lymphadenopahy? during PGL do all the glands swell. could the swelling be on and off with 10/15 days time breaks. does it normally happen with the recent HIV infection(6-8 months)? does it happen only with hiv infection? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. By the word persistent, we mean ongoing for a prolonged period of time, not just a few days. Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph glands) associated with AIDS usually occurs at multiple lymph node sites around the body at the same time. There is no distinct pattern of how much they swell, or for how long they swell, other than to say they can stay enlarged for prolonged periods of time. Enlarged lymph glands can occur during Acute Viral Syndrome or during AIDS related symptoms. However persistent, ongoing enlarged lymph glands, would only occur during the symptoms due to AIDS itself, not Acute Viral Syndrome.

Persistent Lymphadenopathy can be due to numerous diseases, other than HIV. This is why having swollen glands (either short-term or long-term), cannot be used to diagnose HIV infection. For more information about the symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, see the posting, "A MESSAGE FROM RICK SOWADSKY ABOUT SYMPTOM QUESTIONS."

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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