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Lymph Nodes

Doctor, Can you tell me the difference between "swollen" lymph nodes and "aching" lymph nodes? I am simply curious as to what those things mean from a bodily functioning standpoint. I posted on here a month ago about a "high risk" exposure I had, although I do not know if he is hiv positive or not. I did get some kind of uti about 3 weeks after this unprotected insertive anal exposure which took two different antibiotic runs to knock out, the second was a 30 day antibiotic. I tested hiv negative with a standard elisa after one month and again after 10 weeks. I had all kinds of symptoms settle in on me at about week 5 including muscle pains, loss of apetite, sweats, headaches, some red dots on my skin, a chronic cough, and aching lymph nodes. No fever ever. I still have all of these symptoms and it has been 4 months since the episode now and 3 months since these symptoms started. Some days are better than others. My doctor tested everything he could think of...lyme disease, mono, blood protiens, blood count, hepetitis, syphlis, herpes... everything has come back normal except herpes one..which he said would'nt explain my symptoms and most people have it. I don't know what to do at this point, and I don't know how much to worry about hiv or some other std... and when I should get tested again. Other people I work with have had flu bugs with all these symptoms recently, but they are recovering...mine just keep on hanging there. I suppose maybe it could be in my system from another std or something the antibiotics opened me up to...but how long can this stupid thing go? I don't know what to do next. I would like to know a little about why your lymph nodes swell up, and what it means if they ache but no swelling. My doctor said twice that they are not swollen. But they all ache on and off...under my ears, on my shoulders, under my arms and in my groin. Thanks
3 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
I strongly doubt that lymph nodes are the source of the aching you describe.  How many times to I have to repeat that SYMPTOMS ALMOST NEVER ARE RELIABLE INDICATORS OF EARLY HIV INFECTION? Laboratory tests, and only the lab tests, determine whether or not someone has HIV.  Your negative test 10 weeks after exposure proves you do not have HIV infection.

And for what it is worth, not only do you not have abnormal lymph nodes, your other symptoms are not particularly suggestive of HIV.  And almost nobody has acute HIV infection without fever.  I have no explanation for your symptoms, but they sound mostly anxiety-generated.  You should discuss this possibility with your doctor.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Dr. HHH will surely tell you that a 10 week ELISA test indicates you don't have HIV.  I tested negative at 8 weeks and again at 9 months.  I also tested negative for other STDs at 9 months.  Your negative STD tests also indicate you don't have any of them.  You may want to get another HIV test just to confirm your negative status.

I developed the same symptoms you describe at almost the same time period.  I had a sinus infection which turned into a chronic cough that lasted for 4 months but then went away.  Many of the symptoms have subsided, but I still get them periodically.  Specifically the muscle aches, joint aches, pain in the armpits, headaches, red skin dots, etc., but no fever.  I think this is most likely due to anxiety over this situation.  I'm just trying to perservere through it, as I believe it will get better with time.  If your Dr. can't find anything wrong with you, there probably isn't anything medically wrong.  

Take care, and best of luck.
Avatar universal
I made this for you, you can add it to your signature so you don't have to keep saying it.

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