Question

Hi Dr. Daar and thanks in advance for ur help.

Despite the fact that symptoms are never reliable to diagnose acute HIV infection. (1)Is it possible to have a sore thorat with diarrhea ,abdominal pain,fatigue and muscle aches, then in a few days the diarrhea goes away,in 2 weeks the sore throat and other symptoms go away, then u develop one swollen lymph node in the neck 4 weeks after the symptoms started? or typically all ARS symptoms (if they take place) will coexist at the same time? (2) I heard from an MD that if someone has swollen nodes due to acute hiv infection ,it has to coexist with the other symptoms and it has to be generalized, meaning in neck, armpit and/or inguinal,and that u never see only one swollen lymph node in the neck if it is ARS, is that true? Thanks alot for ur time and help.

Answer

You are correct that symptoms associated with primary HIV infection or seroconversion are extremely variable. However, they usually do occur within a few days if not hours of each other and the lymph nodes are diffuse. It would be unusual for acute infection to manifest with an isolated lymph node.

The most important thing is that if you believe you might have been exposed to an HIV-infected person you should seek out medical attention and appropriate testing.

Best, Eric