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What is the cure for tender lymph nodes on neck post HIV exposure?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 877 Questions
About a week post exposure I started having swollen/tender lymph nodes on the right side of my neck and then above my Adam's XXXXXXX at that point I went to the ER and they put me on Antibiotics which brought most of the swelling down expect for the one above my Adam's XXXXXXX I have been having on going stomach issues for the last month along with my swollen/tender lymph nodes, dizziness, a lot of burping and gas, the lymph node situation has went from my neck area to being tender in my left armpit area to my chest, I am now 5 weeks passed the possible exposure no temperature as of yet and I have had 5 negative HIV tests at this point Are any of my test conclusive or good indicators at this point? - HIV RNA PCR Test done at 9 days post possible exposure, negative - 10-14 days (I Can't remember this one) Two Rapid Blood test at the hospital, negative -17 Days post exposure HIV RNA PCR test done negative -27 days post exposure Oraquick oral swab test done negative -37 days post exposure Oraquick oral swab test done negative
Posted Mon, 23 Dec 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 2 hours later
Brief Answer: HIV Testing Strategies Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for choosing health care magic for your query. I understand your concern regarding exposure to HIV. I want to elaborate on few details about HIV and HIV Testing Strategies to relieve your anxiety. HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus which is mainly transmitted by sexual route (oral, vaginal or anal) The semen and vaginal fluids are rich in HIV particles in an HIV infected individual. HIV gains entry into the body through the mucosa of the genitalia and reaches the local lymph nodes and multiplies there. Then it spills into the blood 4-11 days after exposure. So technically there is no test to detect HIV within 4 days of exposure. After 4-11 days, HIV can be detected in the blood by PCR and p24 antigen testing. Antibodies against HIV start appearing 3 weeks to 12 weeks after exposure and can be detected by a wide range of rapid tests and confirmatory tests. Rapid tests are Tridot, Oraquick, HIV spot and many more. But the results of these rapid tests have to be confirmed by confirmatory tests like PCR, ELISA or Western blot tests. There is a particular strategy followed for HIV testing called the three kit strategy, where three different kits are used for testing the sample and HIV status is announced as negative if two consecutive tests give negative results. Coming to the details of HIV testing in your query, you have undergone the following tests: HIV RNA PCR Test at 9 days - negative Two Rapid Blood tests at 10-14 days - negative HIV RNA PCR test at 17 days - negative Oraquick oral swab test at 27 and 37 days - negative Based on these test results, you are definitely negative as PCR is one of the most specific and sensitive tests to detect HIV in early infection. If you are still in doubt, you can get a confirmatory test like ELISA for HIV 1 and 2 antibodies, or western blot test done 4 weeks from now. This result if negative will confirm your HIV status and no further testing is required. Your other symptoms like gastrointestinal issues and lymph node swelling in arm pit is not related to HIV infection. I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily. If you have any more clarifications, please do not hesitate to get back. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What is the cure for tender lymph nodes on neck post HIV exposure? 2 hours later
Dr, How sure are you about my results? Today I noticed a rash on my upper left arm
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 13 hours later
Brief Answer: Sensitivity of PCR in HIV detection Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. I would like to mention here that PCR is one of the specific and sensitive tests used in HIV detection in early exposure. Meaning very less chances of PCR showing false negative results as PCR can detect as less as 10 nanogram of HIV DNA. So it is also used as one of the confirmatory tests in early infection. But if you are still in doubt then you can get another confirmatory test like ELISA or Western blot done 4 weeks from now just to confirm your negative HIV status. Coming to the rash on your arm, I need more details about the size of the rash, color, whether spreading or not and any other associated symptoms. Or you could get in touch with a GP nearby you and get the rash examined to rule out causes. I doubt it is due to HIV infection. I hope I have cleared your doubts. Please let me know if I can assist you further. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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