Sexually Transmitted Diseases/possible hiv?


QUESTION: "hello,

could you please help or guide me please ive been really worried for these past couple of months.
ive had this swollen lymph node under my ear. tonsilar area from
the photo i attached. ive had it probably since july. at first it was swollen and kind of burning. it was about the size of a dime coin so i just ignore it and just took some antio biotics thought that it would help it dis appear. after i awhile i just ignore it and eventually it became small
and not really noticable unless i press hard on the area and what gots me
really worried is that ive recently just got a oral thrush not in the mouth though. ive got it in my lip. (yeast infection in the lips) i think they call it candidiasis or something like that and from what i have searched online. most people who gets it were the people with hiv and weak immune system. since ive had my un noticable lymph node under my ear for 2 months now and recently just got a reoccuring yeast infection in the lips (for a about a month now)

what is the possibility that i have a hiv?

p.s my urine smells really funky too
and cloudy. ive had this for
more than 6 months now

kindly please help me answer my questions
havent really had time to schedule a hiv test since a graduating student and i am really busy with finals.."

ANSWER: Hello Momo,
First, it is important to have routine care from a health care provider that you can trust.  Not someone in urgent care or the emergency department, as these folks are designed to manage a single critical issue and not provide continuity of care over a long time.

Swollen lymph nodes are USUALLY due to acute or chronic inflammation, sometimes from a bacterial infection in the region where the node is noted. In persistent cases, it may be just scar tissue, or in more rare conditions, something much worse, like a cancer of a lymph node. Taking antibiotics without being properly diagnosed is unwise, since a good provider needs to know what they are treating so that the right antibiotic is chosen.  Some antibiotics, when prescribed rightly or wrongly, may still cause side effects, such as oral thrush (candidal infection of the mouth/throat/esophagus, even when the immune system is working fine.  Baby's sometimes get oral thrush, as do people on antibiotics, pregnant women, people receiving organ transplant, people with AIDS or poorly controlled diabetes,  pregnancy and other immunosuppressive conditions, people receiving medications for other therapeutic interventions, among other reasons. Sometimes people may get angular cheilitis (cracked corners of lips) due to skin fungi, even without other signs of thrush.  

Your odorous urine just usually means that it is highly concentrated, and it could also be due to a urinary tract infection.

You did not mention your sex (sorry, cannot identify from your first name!), your risk for HIV from sexual contact or intravenous drug use and needle sharing, etc.  That is what a decent health care provider will do-- collect the necessary health information in order to make a reasonable diagnosis.

You deserve an evaluation, and taking an hour or two from your busy schedule will help alleviate any worry, as well as possibly treat anything requiring treatment.  

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you very much mark for taking time
to answer my questions. but due all the things that i am currently experiencing. could they possibly lead to a possible hiv?..

is there a good chance that i might have an hiv?. just a quick thought:/ i just kind of want to clear my mind about it because i dont really want to stress it out before my
finals.anyway thank you very much mark

Hello Again, Momo,
Only one thing causes HIV: infection with the virus, human immunodeficiency virus, during sex or needle sharing/blood sharing with an infected partner. All of the previously mentioned symptoms are UNRELATED to HIV.  If stress continues to bother you, than you may need to seek the services of a professional therapist or counselor.  

Good luck with your final exams!


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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