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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Swollen lymph nodes after stopping Pe
Jun 29, 2008

Hey Doc, I recently decided to stop PEP because of the low risk nature of the exposure (insertive unprotected oral sex with Thai sex worker). After stopping both sustiva and combivir I felt pretty good for about two days, but then started having tightness in the throat, swollen neck lymph nodes, fleeting headaches, and fleeting joint pain in my right arm. The sustiva rash (looks like light red moles) has not gone away. Are these indicators that I actually had the virus? Are there side effects with stopping PEP after only 2 wks? Can anxiety alone cause these things?

I am so freaking worried that if I have it... I will be resistant to sustiva.

I plan to go to a hospital tomorrow to get bloodtests done to make sure everything is in good order after the meds. I am also considering a viral load test. Would an HIV RNA assay be likely high if I did have it?

Thanks so much for helping me through this extremely tough time in my life. I've never been so scared.

Response from Dr. Henry

The symptoms you describe would be unusual to be due to your HIV meds. I recommend follow-up with you primary care physician to evaluate your complaints. KH

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