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Swollen lymph nodes and HIV

Ok, so I have this fear of HIV for two years now and it is really difficult to live life like this. I had unprotected vaginal and oral with high risk person, after that I started to searching symptoms of HIV and I found many of them on myself. Although I had 7 negative antibody tests I cannot move on with my life because of my symptoms. Since then I had many different symptoms, coughs, oral ulcer on my lower lip every 3-4 months(never had that before on my lip), all kind of rashes, but the worst symptoms are swollen lymph nodes in my neck, groins and armpits, and balanitis which I have for two years now. I mean, that should be a really big coincidence that I developed swollen lymph nodes after my exposure and that they are not connected with my exposure. In the first month after my exposure I could palpate only my node under jaw and my groins nodes which were not very big, but they were palpable. Five to six months after exposure I started to getting more nodes in my neck and my armpits which I still have them and they are much bigger, they are visible in my neck, especially one under my jaw. Athough I must admit that I had never tried to find them before my exposure and I was poking and prodding those nodes from anxiety after exposure. I read that poking can irritate them so maybe I irritated mine and they became swollen but I will never be sure about that. When I stop to touching them, they reduce in size for some time but after a few days they start to swell again and they are always here. My biggest fear is that I know that those swollen nodes are really common in HIV positive people and that it scares me the most. I was at two doctors who saw those nodes but when I say that I tested negative, they only say to move on with my life. My last test was one year after my exposure. I don't think that I am the late seroconverter or that I have a rare strain that cannot be picked up with tests. My fear is that persons who need more time to developed a measurable amount of  antibodies are very common in HIV. And PCRs are not approved for diagnostic purposes in my country so I should be satisfied with antibody tests. I don't know what I should do anymore. I have a girlfriend now and I am very scared to infect her. I have difficulty focusing on my job and my life in general. I think that I could accept my negative status if there are not my swollen nodes. I don't know if a should take another test. If it came negative again I will be peaceful a couple of months but when I see that my nodes are still there I become anxious again and again. At least I think so. What do you think?? If anyone has something smart to say please say it... It would be helpful a lot.

p.s. Sorry about my English

Thank you!
2 Responses
1339181 tn?1327575778
It is actually normal to be able to feel lymph nodes.  It is not the kind of thing that you will only be able to feel if they are swollen.  I am a registered nurse (and also a former HIV counselor) and in nursing school we had to memorize where every lymph node was in the body and and feel for them on a physical exam of whoever we were practicing on.  The difference between a swollen lymph node and normal will be that of a golfball (or bigger if very swollen) to that of a marble, respectively.  Sounds like you are maybe feeling all your nodes and your concern is causing anxiety & fear.  I would focus on the HIV screen and if more than 6 months have passed since your potential exposure, you can be rest assured that you are HIV - if undetectable after 6 months and beyond.  Take a deep breath and goto a doctor for a full check-up and rescreen just to feel confident you are okay and in the mean time continue to always use condoms with any/all sexual activity so you don't ever have to go through another 6 months of wait/worry/wonder again.  :)
1443539 tn?1303438207
swollen lymph nodes can be a sign of alot of things including a infection,low white blood cells, lymphoma, and endocrine problems i would def have a thyroid pannel and physical done if they do not go away i know its scary but hang in there!
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