red flags? red flag's

Question

mr. sowdsky. i would like to take a moment and wish you and your's a healthy and happy thanksgiving and holiday season,and as always kudos on the excellent work. i have a two part question,first,it appears that you are getting many questions on lymphnodes and their relationship with hiv. you stated that a swollen lymphnode for a few days as a result of infection is normal and is no big deal,what if it lasted for a week or two?,could an adverse re-action to a medication be to blame. secondly,as a society,we all know that getting tested is the ONLY WAY to know for sure if someone has contracted the virus, but,is there a "red flag" that you could say would be a reason for concern mr. sowadsky.

Answer

Hi. Thank you for your question and I too, wish everyone in cyberspace, a happy holiday season.

As to lymph nodes being swollen for a week or two, this too, can be due to multiple causes. Medications usually would not cause this, but infectious agents that medications may be trying to fight off, could be the cause. The general rule to remember is that if ANY symptoms last for more than a week or two, or are becoming more severe, always seek medical attention to find out the cause, regardless of what you think the cause may be.

The "Red Flags" as to why a person should consider getting tested are:

High risk activities in one's past. Ongoing or severe symptoms that a physician cannot determine the cause. 3) Your sex partner having a "high risk" past.

Other than these, there are no Red Flags to watch out for. And as you said yourself, testing is the only way to determine if someone has HIV or not. Because every symptom of HIV/AIDS looks like the symptoms of other illnesses, and because a person can have HIV/AIDS and have no symptoms at all, testing is the only way to know if a person is infected or not. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS