HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?


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i just have a question to ask. From what i understand HIV only stays in your body for about two weeks or so then leaves and come back later on in life. Lets say for instance my lymph node swelling is a early symptom of HIV would it only stay swollen for the 2 weeks or so the HIV is in my body or would it remain swollen even when the HIV leaves my body?

HIV does not stay in your body for only two weeks. Once the pesky virus has found a home inside you, it's there to stay. Even when anti-retroviral therapy reduces the viral load to undetectable levels, it does not mean that HIV has been eradicated from your body; the virus lingers (if that's the right word) in "reservoirs" (in latently infected cells). I don't know where you read or heard that HIV lasts in your body for two weeks, disappears, and then somehow comes back. That is wrong. What you might be thinking of is acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), a flu-like illness that 80+% of newly infected people experience; most newly infected people will have ARS between two and six weeks following exposure.

All that having been said: swollen lymph nodes do not mean that you are HIV-positive. Having flu-like symptoms does not mean you have ARS. Swollen lymph nodes are a very unspecific symptom, your body's response to a variety of infections. If you think that you might be positive, get an HIV test three months after your possible exposure (risk event). Do not self-diagnose, you'll be playing havoc with your peace of mind. Post again if you have any more questions.



Once a person becomes infected with hiv, it never leaves the body. Never. What happens is that the body can control the virus, without meds, for quite some time and the time during which the body can control the virus varies from person to person.

Symptoms, or the lack of symptoms, means absolutely nothing when it comes to hiv infection. The only way to reliably know your true hiv status is through testing at the appropriate time.

Sexually speaking, hiv is transmitted through unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse and very, very rarely, through giving blowjobs. If you've had unprotected intercourse you need to test 12-13 weeks after your possible exposure. Otherwise, you won't need to test unless it is part of the regular, routine sexual health care check-up that every sexually active adult should be having at least once a year, and more often if unprotected intercourse has taken place.

If you would care to let us know why you think you may be at risk for hiv infection, we could be of better service to you.

I see lydgate has posted while I was writing this and he is also correct in what he says, except for the fact that if someone does experience symptoms, they usually happen between two and four weeks after infection, not two and six. Not everyone experiences any noticeable symptoms.


but lets just say that i do have HIV and the swollen lymph nodes is an early symptom of my HIV should they remain swollen for a 5 mothns or should the early sympton after month or so.

but lets just say that i do have HIV and the swollen lymph nodes is an early symptom of my HIV should they remain swollen for  5 mothns or should the early symptoms go away after a month or so.



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