Follow-up question. re:PEP without HIV specialist; Please help!

Question

Dr. Bob, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I have since sought the help of an infectious desease specialst here in Thailand, and have continued the PEP treatment just to be sure.

I have a question about a very specific symptom that has me concerned about ARS. As I mentioned in my last post, my potential exspore was on the 28th of October, which puts today at the two week mark. Today I woke up with what i believe is a swollen lymph under my chin, its tender to the touch, and in my mouth its swollen on the same side in the tonsel area.

Ive had this issue many times over the years, many times not linked to infenction at all. I ofen have very tight neck muscles, get quite a few ear infections, and have TMJ, so I think that this particular node being swollen occurs for me for a number of reasons.

On top of that, I am at a very intensive thai-boxing training camp for a month. One in which a do lots os sit-ups, get my neck cranked quite a bit, and get punched in the head; needless to say my neck is strained every day, and I wake up with soreness in the neck every day.

My question is:

  1. Is what im describing a swollen lymph node? Would i be able to feel it on the inside of my mouth with my tonge?

  2. Is it feesible that swollen nodes under the chin are cased my strained neck or TMJ? Or is it more than likely caused by infection?

One last thing: I also have a small rash that lasted about 4 days in the pit of where my forearm and upper arm joint. However, I have had lots of mosquito bites, so could it could be related to that. Also, Im sure 24/7, so I wouldnt be able to confirm joint pains. But no night sweats or fever.

Thanks for your time, and I pray that you have the opportunity to answer. Please bare with me as I am travelling abroad; I fully intend on making a donation to your foundation as soon I return home. The information here on TheBody.com has helped me so much, and I have told many people where to find the most comprehensive and helpful HIV information on the web.

Thanks again.

Answer

Hello,

  1. I have no way of determining over the Internet if what you are noticing is a swollen lymph gland or not.

  2. Swollen lymph nodes are generally caused by some type of inflammation/infection.

One final note: "symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. You are already doing all you can by taking PEP. Worrying won't help one way or the other. Finish your PEP and then get post-PEP HIV-antibody testing at four to six weeks, three months and six months from the date of exposure.

Good luck. And do be careful at that Thai-boxing training camp!

Dr. Bob