LGV (lymphogranuloma venereum) is a rare sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, however LGV should not be confused with chlamydia. LGV is transmitted through unprotected anal or oral sex and affects the genitals, arse and lymph glands in the groin.
How can I tell if I have LGV?
Many people don’t get symptoms from LGV, but even though no symptoms are apparent you’re still infectious. When symptoms do present themselves, they will usually show up in two stages.
Within three to 30 days of infection a small ulcer, pimple or nodule will form on your cock, front hole or on your arse. Symptoms will usually clear in a few days and most people don’t notice this stage.
Over the next two to six weeks the infection starts to spread to the lymph glands. You may experience painful and swelling in your groin or if the infection in the arse, symptoms may include:
How do I get tested?
LGV isn’t very common in Australia, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Your doctor will do specialised tests, which may include swabs from your arse, front hole, cock and/or lymph nodes.
How can I be treated?
If you have been diagnosed with LGV, treatment will involve a course of antibiotics.
It’s important to tell your recent sexual partner(s) if you have been diagnosed with LGV, so they can be tested and treated. Take advantage of our free ‘Let them know’ SMS service here.
How can I prevent getting LGV?
The best way to reduce your risk of LGV is by using condoms and lube whenever you’re fucking or getting fucked. For rimming, it’s a good idea to use dams or if you fist other guys, make sure you use new latex gloves each time. Always wash your hands after arse play, or if you’re handling used condoms or sex toys.
Regular STI check-ups will help you detect infections early and reduce the risk of transmission to other people. Visit your doctor or sexual health clinic to book a test. Find a test site near you here.
What if I’m HIV positive?
If you’re poz and you’re on treatment, LGV will not affect you any differently than it would for a neg guy. However if you’re a poz guy with LGV and you are not on HIV treatment, LGV can increase the risk of HIV transmission to your HIV negative sexual partner(s).
So, for added protection it’s always a good idea to use condoms to ensure you and your partner(s) stay safe.
If I’m on PrEP, how will LGV affect me?
PrEP prevents HIV, however it does not protect you from bacterial infections such as LGV. Condoms with lube remain the most effective way to stay safe from LGV and other STIs.
FAST FACTS ABOUT LGV
- LGV is relatively rare in Australia
- It’s transmitted through unprotected anal or oral sex
- The first signs of LGV are a pimple or ulcer on the penis or anus
- If untreated, LGV can progress to swollen lymph glands in your groin or an infection in your arse
- The best way to prevent contracting LGV is by using condoms for fucking, latex gloves for fisting or arse play and dams for rimming