Newly diagnosed with HIV and now with lymph nodes-- should I get them biopsied?

Question

I have recently been diagnosed as being HIV+ and I noticed that I have swollen lymph nodes in different areas and I was wondering if I should be worried that it is something more serious. My doctor said that it is common and that it wasn't anything to worry about. I have pea sized ones in my jaw, in my neck, under each of my arms, and in my groin area.

A few weeks ago I had a bad itch. I noticed that someone here had a similar case and thought it might have been Hodgkin's Disease. I am around the same age as him, I'm 22. Should I go back to the doctor and ask for a biopsy?

Thanks for your help, this is all very scary to me, this site is very helpful.

Answer

Lymph nodes are very common in HIV positive folks, particularly early on in the infection. There is no need to biopsy them unless one is way out of proportion to the other lymph nodes, you have systemic symptoms (fever, chills, night sweats, weight loss), or if the lymph nodes grow over time. Most lymph nodes are just your body's immune system trying to fight off the HIV infection. Although itching (medical term is pruritis) can be seen in Hodgkin's disease, I would certainly NOT jump to such a conclusion based on the information you have supplied me in this query. Good luck. It's not easy to be recently diagnosed with HIV. BD.