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Lymph Nodes and Sore Throat
Feb 28, 2011


I have been on Atripla for just under a month. Diagnosed 1.5 years ago, most recent labs prior to starting HAART were cd4 1018, VL 11,764. Since beginning treatment, I have noticed an intermittent sore throat with painful swelling of my neck lymph nodes, on one or both sides. I occasionally also have armpit node swelling. The swelling can be independent of or in conjunction with the sore throat, and usually not all nodes swell at the same time. Today the pain of the lymph node and throat is making it difficult to swallow and one neck node is rock hard, and visible in the mirror when compared to the other side. I am taking ibuprofen 2-4x a week due to the sore throat, but it never lasts more than 1/2 a day at a time. It feels like the start of strep or other throat infection, but never progresses past the sensation that something is just beginning to go wrong. There is not discharge as I'd expect with thrush, and I haven't noticed associated fever. I'm trying to determine how serious this could be. Thanks for your help!

Response from Dr. Henry

A subset of patients develop swollen sometimes painful lymph node swelling after starting effective HIV treatment. That occurs perhaps due to immune reconstitution. Intercurrent infections (viral, strep throat) can occur so an evaluation by your HIV specialist is recommended in cases like yours to delineate whether intervention is needed. KH

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