Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is on the rise in Canada. If left untreated, LGV can lead to serious health problems.
Until recently, LGV was a rare infection in Canada. Prior to 2004, it was most often seen in tropical areas of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Recently, cases have been reported in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and other European countries. In Canada, approximately 30 cases per year have been reported in the past couple of years. Most cases involved men having unprotected sex with men.
LGV is caused by variations of the bacteria that cause chlamydia, a common STI. However, the infections caused by LGV are much more invasive, cause different symptoms, and have different results if left untreated.
LGV is transmitted during unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. LGV can be prevented by using condoms or other barrier methods during sex. It can be detected by a taking a swab from the infected area. A blood test may also be needed, as well as additional tests, since other STIs are often contracted at the same time.
LGV can be treated and cured by antibiotics. If the infected person has had sex within 60 days of having symptoms or being diagnosed, their partners should also be notified, tested, and treated.
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