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SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS

There are a range of bugs and viruses that you can catch during sex. Learn about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), how to get prevent them, how to diagnose them and how they are treated.

LGV

What is it?

LGV stands for Lymphogranuloma Venereum, which is a rare strain of chlamydia.

How do you get it?

You can only get LGV from sexual contact with someone who has LGV — through oral sex, anal sex, vaginal or front-hole sex, and by arse, vaginal or front-hole play such as fingering, fisting or using toys.

What are the symptoms?

Some people don’t have symptoms when they get LGV, which means you can have LGV and not know about it. If you do get symptoms, they can appear from three days to six weeks after exposure.

Symptoms can appear at different stages based on how long you’ve had LGV:

  • The primary stage occurs within the first 30 days after exposure and can involve a painless growth or shallow ulcer on the cock, arse, vagina or front-hole, or in the anus or cervix — only around 25 per cent of people experience symptoms.
  • The secondary stage occurs a few weeks after exposure and can involve swollen lymph nodes in the groin area or pain and inflammation in the arse, vagina or front-hole, along with some bleeding and unusual discharge.
  • The tertiary stage can lead to lesions and occurs when the lymph nodes become so enlarged they cause swelling of the cock, arse, vagina or front-hole.
Diagnosis and treatment

A doctor diagnoses LGV by taking a swab of your throat, arse, vagina or front-hole along with a urine (piss) sample for laboratory testing.

As LGV is a rare strain of chlamydia, not all doctors test for it routinely. If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, ask your doctor about whether you should test for LGV as well.

Treatment is straightforward with a 21-day course of antibiotics. Avoid all sexual contact when taking treatment and for seven days after you completed it to stop LGV from spreading.

How do you prevent it?

Apart from not having any sex, the most effective way to help prevent LGV is to use condoms, dams and gloves during sex. However, LGV can still spread even when these barriers are used.

LGV is not routinely tested for, but going for regular sexual health tests and talking with your doctor can help identify LGV before it becomes a problem and helps prevent it from spreading.

Going for regular sexual health tests will identify LGV before it becomes a problem and helps prevent it from spreading.

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