HIV+, Will my lymph node swelling go down if I don't take HIV drugs?

Question

I was recently diagnosed HIV+ (from a recent infection), and I'm experiencing acute HIV infection symptoms. Part of the symptoms are substantial swelling of lymph nodes in my neck which are obvious. I looked but didn't see this addressed specifically. I am not on meds yet (Dr. follow up coming soon to decide), but is there any way (alternative therapy/herbal/whatever) to reduce the swelling? Will they just go down in time? How long will it take? Thank you for your help.

Answer

Enlarged lymph nodes are VERY common in HIV disease. The lymph nodes are trying to fight off the HIV infection. Different patients' bodies deal with lymph nodes in different ways. In some patients, lymph nodes do indeed go down in time. In some patients lymph nodes can stay swollen for years. (I have patients who have gone under multiple operations to remove painful lymph nodes). And, believe it or not, in some patients lymph nodes grow in response to HIV drugs. This is because the HIV drugs are restoring these patients' immune system, and as their immune system is rebuilt, the lymph nodes swell. So, the bottom line, is that anything can happen with your lymph nodes.