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Swollen Lymph Nodes
Mar 15, 2000

Hi there,

with regard to SLN's would you expect this to occur approx. 1 year after infection and only be in the Neck area. Why would this be localized rather than generalized if the infection is in all of the body. The nodes have now been swollen for a few years although are not painful just 'small' and hard. If I get a tooth coming through they then become even larger!

Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. There is a lot of variability from person to person regarding the pattern of swollen lymph nodes = SLN per your email. SLN can be a sign of HIV infection itself, of other infection, other disease processes (such as lymphoma), or actually of an improving immune system after anti-HIV therapy is started and the immune system begins to build itself up again. The neck and groan are particular hotbeds of SLN as they capture drainage from areas (the mouth or the rectal/genital area) which are often full of germs. I often see patients a year or so after infection who still have some SLN in the neck. It is noteworthy to follow but generally not alarming to me (I check for oral health and try to optimize gum/tooth hygiene) but I follow what happens over the next several years. Keith Henry, M.D.



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