Lymph Node Swelling - What Evidence Is There It Is HIV?
Lymph node swelling is a common symptom, the one Variety of causes may have. In the most cases is this harmless such as a flu-like infection. It is about a natural defense reaction of the body against the pathogen.
In rarer cases but can also be a serious illness as a Lymphoma (colloquially "lymph gland cancer") as well as a serious infection for example with HIV be the trigger.
Lymph node swelling alone does not justify suspicion of infection with the HI virus. However, if there has been a risk, for example from unprotected traffic or an injury to a used needle, an HIV test should be carried out. The infection can either be ruled out or, if necessary, treatment can be initiated at an early stage.
If you have actually been infected with HIV, there are usually other unspecific symptoms such as fever, fatigue or joint pain in addition to swelling of the lymph nodes. In some cases, however, an infection can initially proceed without any symptoms, so that only HIV testing after exposure to risk can provide information.
Read more on this topic: Symptoms of HIV
Lymph node swelling at initial infection
After an infection with HIV, only about one in two people experience early symptoms. In addition to fever, body aches and fatigue, the first infection usually also leads to swelling of the lymph nodes.
These are usually painful and appear around two to six weeks after infection. The cervical lymph nodes are most frequently affected, but swelling is also possible in the groin and armpit region.
Read more on this topic: Lymph node pain - how dangerous is it?
However, swelling of the lymph nodes and the other symptoms mentioned alone are not indicative of an HIV infection. In most cases it is a harmless cold disease. The suspicion is justified only if there is a risk of being infected with the HI virus. Appropriate testing should then be carried out by a doctor. There is a risk if, for example, unprotected intercourse has taken place two to six weeks before the lymph node swelling occurs or a needle has been used.
Duration of lymph node swelling after primary infection
Once infected with the HI virus, around half of people will experience symptoms early (after around two to six weeks). These include the symptoms mentioned above, which can resemble a flu-like infection, as well as swelling of the lymph nodes. The symptoms can last for days to several weeks.
In some cases, the lymph node swelling can persist for up to several months (lymphadenopathy syndrome). In this case, the symptom of swollen lymph nodes is an important indicator of the infection with HIV. A doctor should be consulted immediately and an HIV test carried out.
Read more about the duration of lymph node swelling on the following page: Duration of lymph node swelling
Lymph node swelling in chronic infection
After an infection with the HI virus, about half of people develop symptoms after a few weeks, which usually go away within a few days or weeks. There follows one mostly years ongoing phase in which no symptoms show even though the virus is in the body. If left untreated, the clinical picture breaks at some point AIDS out.
The body's defense system is no longer able to defend itself against all pathogens in the environment (viruses, fungi, bacteria) and infections occur from which a healthy person is protected (one speaks of opportunistic infections). In many cases swell at the same time Lymph nodes on.
At a Lymph node swelling in at least two non-adjacent areas, the over three months persists and cannot be traced back to other diseases, one speaks of the so-called Lymphadenopathy syndrome. There is the urgent suspicion on a HIV infection, a doctor should visited immediately become.
Painless lymph node swelling
Lymph node swelling that does not cause pain and does not hurt when you touch can have various causes. In rare cases, it indicates a serious illness.
In particular, if the lymph nodes cannot be moved and are hard to the touch, a doctor should be consulted immediately, as this may be a sign of a malignant disease. HIV infection is a rare but possible cause of lymph node swelling. However, swelling caused by the HI virus is usually not painless. Therefore, testing is only appropriate if the risk of infection is justified (for example after unprotected traffic).
Painless lymph node swellings are therefore only extremely rarely an indication of an HIV infection, but should be examined by a doctor if they persist for more than two weeks and / or appear suspicious (hard or immovable).
Painful swelling of the lymph nodes
In very rare cases is the cause of painful lymph node swelling HI virus. The first reaction of the body is similar to that of harmless viruses and therefore painful swelling of the lymph nodes often occurs. The Symptoms of the initial infection usually subside after a few days or weeks and with it go also the Lymph node swelling as well as the Back pain. If left untreated, however, AIDS usually breaks out after a few years.
Lymph node swelling in the neck - evidence of HIV?
A swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck is in most cases due to a respiratory infection and is therefore harmless. Concomitant symptoms are often fever, cough, fatigue and aching limbs. With appropriate physical protection, the body usually fights the pathogens and the disease heals within a few days to a maximum of two weeks. This also reduces the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
Read more on this topic:
- Lymph node swelling on the neck - how dangerous is it?
- Lymph node swelling after surgery
In much rarer cases, a swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck is also an indication that an infection with the HIV virus has occurred. The accompanying symptoms of a cold can also occur. If the symptoms occur after contact with someone who may be HIV-infected (for example through unprotected traffic), an HIV test should be carried out to be on the safe side. Even if an HIV infection is rarely the cause of lymph node swelling, it is most common in the neck.
Lymph node swelling in the groin - evidence of HIV?
The lymph nodes in the groin can often be felt without being enlarged. If there is a swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin, then an infection is usually the cause. In very rare cases the responsible pathogen can be the HIV virus. In such a case, however, the lymph node swelling is practically never the only symptom.
Read more on this topic: Lymph node swelling on the groin - how dangerous is it?
In addition, symptoms such as fever, fatigue and joint pain can occur. If the lymph nodes in the groin swell after unprotected intercourse, a doctor should be consulted. Even if HIV is only the causative agent in rare cases, an appropriate test should be carried out. An infection with another sexually transmitted disease is also possible, for which early treatment is usually important.
Lymph node swelling in the armpit - evidence of HIV?
If the lymph nodes in the armpit become swollen, there can be many different causes. The most common is a harmless infection. In rare cases it can be a sign of a malignant disease or an indication of a serious infection such as HIV.
Read more on this topic: Lymph node swelling in the armpit - how dangerous is it?
A swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit (whether unilateral or bilateral) does not speak in terms of an HIV infection. An HIV test should only be carried out to be on the safe side if an infection could previously have occurred, for example through unprotected traffic, and accompanying symptoms such as fever, fatigue or joint pain occur. Even if the cause is unlikely, this can be excluded or at least treated in good time.
HIV infection possible without swelling of the lymph nodes?
Lymph node swelling is one of many rather unspecific symptoms that can occur when infected with HIV. When symptoms such as fever, fatigue or joint pain occur, the lymph nodes very often swell too.
However, around half of people who become infected with HIV initially show no symptoms at all or these are so weak that they are not noticed. Therefore, an HIV infection without swelling of the lymph nodes is possible and not uncommon. The occurrence or absence of symptoms can neither prove nor rule out an infection.
It is of the greatest importance to exclude an infection by means of an HIV test after a risk contact. This includes, in particular, intercourse outside a partnership without a condom (especially anal intercourse but also after vaginal or oral intercourse). Nevertheless, such contact often does not lead to infection, but testing should be carried out to be on the safe side.
Read more on this topic: HIV test
Lymph node swelling can have many causes. Read more about the causes on the following page: Causes of Lymph Node Swelling