Lymphogranuloma Venereum (Chlamydia trachomatis)

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a subtype of bacteria of Chlamydia trachomatis. This is the same bacteria that causes Chlamydia.

But LGV infection is much more serious. LGV can be transmitted during unprotected sex. If left untreated, it can result in serious illness, genital scarring or, rarely, death.

Symptoms

Symptoms generally appear 3–30 days after infection. Initial symptoms include a painless sore or lump where the bacteria entered the body. This can be the vagina, penis, rectum, cervix or mouth.

After the initial symptoms, those infected with LGV may experience flu-like symptoms. These include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, lymph node swelling, genital scarring, and rectal disease.

Causes

LGV can be transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex with a person who is already infected. LGV can be transmitted to straight and same-sex partners.

Anyone who’s sexually active can be infected with LGV. The risk of infection becomes greater with increasing number of sexual partners.

Treatment

LGV can be cured with antibiotics. Early treatment is essential to prevent severe complications. These include genital/anal scarring.

If you are infected with LGV and had sex within the last 60 days, it is important to tell your sexual partner(s) that you have LGV. They may require treatment as well. Getting treatment at the same time as your partner(s) can reduce the risk of passing the infection back and forth.

Prevention

LGV can be prevented by consistently avoiding risky behaviours. Thus, avoid having multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex. Informing your sexual partner(s) so they can be tested and, if needed, receive treatment will help reduce the spread of the disease.


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