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Swollen Tonsils/Neck Gland
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Swollen Tonsils/Neck Gland

I am a 35 year old male. On May 31st of 2002, I had a brief sexual encounter with another male of unknown HIV status. This encounter consisted of placing his penis in my mouth for a very short period of time but no ejaculation occurred.

Exactly one week later, I awoke with a pain in my mouth. I thought it was a dental issue so I went to see my dentist who told me that he could not find a problem but confirmed that my tonsils were swollen as well as a gland in my throat which was also sensitive when pressure was applied. My dentist prescribed a 10 day course of antibiotics which I took. The swelling and sensitivity stopped exactly one week after it started.

During this time, I did not experience any other symptoms - no fever, no muscle pain, no fatigue, etc.

Three weeks after the encounter I went to my Dr. who was less concerned with HIV than another STD so he ordered a battery of STD tests which all came back negative.

Now I'm stuck waiting out the window period for ELISA testing. My fear here is that the swollen gland/tonsils were a sign of Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) which are typically described as flu-like symptoms.

My questions are:

1.) In the absence of any other symptoms, am I foolish to link this swollen gland to ARS? I can't recall ever having a swollen gland in my neck before.

2.) Is one week (7 days) after an encounter early to exhibit symptoms of ARS?

3.) If one is experiencing ARS, would symptoms typically occur in multiples or singularly.

4.) Does the fact that the swelling ceased one week after beginning a round of antibiotics indicate that the antibiotics worked on whatever caused the swelling or that a viral cause had run its course? In other words, if this swelling were attributed to ARS, would it not have lasted more than one week?

I guess that's it. I'm just very worried and would appreciate some answers. I truly appreciate your input!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for visiting the Family Practice Forum.

We have a few good things here:

1. Antibiotics made it better. This makes me think that it was a bacteria causing the swollen glands and not ARS.

2. One week would indeed be very early to begin to exhibit symptoms related to ARS.

3. If you are experiencing ARS, the symptoms usually come on subtly over the course of several weeks/months. One swollen gland, in my mind, does not make me think of ARS.

4. Yes, if the swelling was due to ARS, it would have persisted despite the use of antibiotics.

Finally, why not ask your "partner" if he knows of his HIV status. It frustrates me when I see couples in "intimate" relationships who cant ask one another a simple question. Certainly your symptoms "COULD" be related to ARS, but in my opinion it is extremely unlikely.

I hope this helps you!
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Dr. Actually, I did ask my partner who said he is negative. I'm being somewhat irrational in not taking his word for it but I've recently read that most young people with HIV/AIDS don't even know it.

Thank you for your encouraging words. They really help!
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Avatar_n_tn
my daughter, she is 10 years old, she gets swollen glands occationally, and they hurt when  she tries to eat.  I have taken her to the doctor, they were not her tonsils, doctor says that the drainage does not flow properly and flows to her glands behind her ears.  Please let me know what I can do further?
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Avatar_n_tn

your daughter sounds like she has a  salivary gland  problem. A  duct in the salivary gland that is blocked will cause pain and swelling ,heres how it works,


When the mouth has food in it and chewing occurs the brain automatically sends signals to these glands to produce saliva,when the duct is blocked the saliva has no way to escape ,hence it backs in the gland itself causing at times severe pain . You can watch the effects of a blocked duct as the swelling goes down after a time whebn no chewing has occured and then swelling and pain is again expierieinced upon the act of chewing ...
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Avatar_n_tn
My boyfriend 24 his gland that hangs in the back of the throat I am not sure of the name but the hangy thing thats there is swollenand its not disrupting his breathing but he says its just annoying. This morning he ate a bagel and swollowed a big peice and it scraped the gland and it has It stopped swelling but I would like to know if anyone knows what it is and if he should go to the doctor. How serious is it?
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Avatar_n_tn



I have had the same occurance .....it comes and goe's ...usually it is nothing more then an allergy of some sort......again usually it goes away,but if it is frequent and causes any airway obstruction ,obviously medical attention should be sought.
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