updated 2 years ago in HIV and STIs

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What is LGV?

LGV is lymphogranuloma venereum. LGV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a less-common strain of Chlamydia, which can affect anyone. It can affect the genitals, rectum (arse) and lymph glands.

How do you get LGV?

LGV can spread through oral sex, rimming, arse play, fingering, fisting, anal sex, and vaginal or front hole sex.

What are the symptoms of LGV?

Some guys will have no symptoms at all.

If you have symptoms, they can appear in different stages, depending on how long you have had the infection. Symptoms will usually appear between three days and six weeks after you are exposed. These may include:

  • a small pimple, ulcer or nodule on your penis, arse, vagina or front hole, which many guys do not notice
  • painful swelling in the groin, including the penis, arse, vagina or front hole
  • unusual bleeding from your arse
  • unusual fluid (discharge) from your penis, vagina or front hole
  • cramping
  • constipation

If LGV is not treated, the lymph nodes can become so swollen they cause the penis, arse, vagina or front hole to swell. This can lead to lesions (bumps or sores) on the skin.

How do I get tested for LGV?

An LGV test involves swabs of the throat and arse, as well as a urine test.

You can get tested at your regular doctor or sexual health service.

LGV may not be included in routine STI tests. You may need to ask for an LGV test.

If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, ask your doctor about testing for LGV as well.

How is LGV treated?

LGV requires medical treatment. It will not go away by itself.

LGV is treated with antibiotics, which your doctor will prescribe.

Avoid sex for at least one week after treating LGV to prevent it from spreading to any other partners.

Contact previous sexual partners to let them know they may have been exposed to LGV and should get tested.

After treating LGV, you can still get LGV again in the future.

What are the best ways to prevent LGV?

Condoms help protect against LGV, but it is still possible for LGV to spread even when you’re using barrier protection.

One of the best ways to stop the spread of LGV and other STIs is to get tested regularly and treated if necessary.