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HIV positive, painful lines in tissue between skin and rib cage, soreness. Treatment ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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I am not sure what the diagnosis would be: I am 46yr old hiv+ 25yrs, relatively healthy (high cholesterol and Triglycerides - sp?) I have noticed in the last week a pair of painful vertical lines in the tissue between my skin and my ribcage left side (it has expanded in the last 24hrs into my abdomin) These lines are sore and palpatable but can not be seen on the skin. HELP what do you think ? No trauma history
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Prasad 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

From what I understand, you have soreness under the left ribcage since 2 weeks. You seem to feel vertical band like painful lesions in the left upper abdomen in the back ground of HIV infection.

Since there are no visible lesion on the skin, it is not an skin condition.

The possibilities are muscle strain, intraabdominal pathology such as tender and enlarged spleen, colon problems, pancreatitis etc. Stress and anxiety could also cause similar symptoms.

In the absence of other symptoms such as fever, indigestion symptoms, abdominal bloating, vomiting, loose stools and so on, intra abdominal pathology or a HIV associated condition is unlikely. The likely cause is muscular strain or Anxiety associated symptoms. Both the condition do not concern me.

You may try anti inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen 200mg twice a day after food for few days. Warm compression using hot water bags on the affected region will also benefit you.

A physical examination and tests which include sonograpy is entailed if the symptom worsen or persists for more than 2 weeks.

Hope my answer was both informative and assuring. I will be available for follow ups should you have any more concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: HIV positive, painful lines in tissue between skin and rib cage, soreness. Treatment ? 57 minutes later
just to clarify

2 lines of tissue swelling extend from the nipple to abdomin
they are also sore to the touch

I would agree muscle strain but it seems to be getting longer (stress makes sense to me as well) - not shingles -have had them before

My concern is some sort of bacterial infection .. is it possible ?

Thanks You
Answered by Dr. Prasad 18 hours later

Good to hear from you again.

As I explained you before in my previous post that it could be due to Muscular strain or anxiety associated symptoms and would require antiinflammatory and warm compression.

Regarding bacterial infection, I feel it has a very low probability as you do not have any other symptoms associated with tenderness and no rise in temparature.

I would suggest you to follow the above mentioned measures and if it doesn't improve or the symptoms worsens, then you can see a physician for examination and evaluation.

Hope this answers your query.

Wish you a speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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