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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Is the Lone Lymph Node natural?
May 15, 2013

I received my HIV diagnosis almost a year ago and my doctor said the lymph nodes would go away. All of them have gone way accept for one. My NP tells me it will go away, however. On the last visit it was still swollen, firm and becoming slightly painful. The advice was to go to the ER to gain a more invasive exam of the node, but I can't afford the fee of an ER visit. Is it natural for a lymph nodes to linger for months after start of treatment?

Response from Dr. Henry

In general an ER is not a good place to have a proper diagnosis made of what is causing an enlarged lymph node unless there is a concern about a serious infection with swelling/pus that needs to be drained, cultured, and treated promptly. Imaging (X-rays) of the region and possibly a biopsy or excision (with careful attention to proper processing, cultures, pathology examination) are methods considered for worrisome lymph node enlargement. Many normal patients and HIV+ patients have some lymph node enlargment that is of no clinical significance so examination and monitorig is important to determine the level of concern.In HIV patients lymph nodes can sometimes remain enlarge and even sometimes swell up further after starting effective HIV treatment. KH

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