LGV is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a different strain of Chlamydia (serovars L1, L2 and L3).
Symptoms can be severe, and may involve multiple sites in the body such as the genitals, the anus, rectum, oral cavity and lymph nodes.
Like all bacterial sexually transmitted infections, anyone who has unprotected sex (i.e. doesn’t use condoms) can catch LGV.
Recent cases of LGV in the UK have almost exclusively been confined to men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly MSM who are co-infected with HIV.
LGV is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection and can be caught through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex; unprotected fisting, and the sharing of sex toys.
If the infection was acquired through anal sex, symptoms of proctitis often develop (such as pain, rectal bleeding and discharge). Catching the infection through other types of sex can cause a small and painless ulcer to appear at the site of infection (such as the vagina, rectum, penis, oral cavity). The lymph nodes around the groin or other infected area can then swell and become painful.
Fever and malaise occur in nearly a third of cases.
In cases which remain untreated, late stage infection can lead to scarring, swelling and deformity in the genitoanal region.
If left untreated the complications of LGV infection may require surgery.
Most cases of LGV are easily treated with a course of antibiotics for you and any sex partners.
The above information has been sourced from Public Health England.