Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)

LGV is not very common in the United States and is most often seen in individuals who have had unprotected receptive anal sex.

Getting Tested

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Type of Test

LGV can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms are similar to other infections. Most diagnoses are made based on health center observations, but samples can be taken from lesions or sores and tested for the bacteria.

Test Timing

It depends on the lab used by your health care provider, but usually a couple of days to a week.

  • The first sign of LGV is a small painless ulcer at the point of infection—it may be so small, in fact, that it goes unnoticed. Swollen lymph nodes are the most common sign and usually appear a week to month later. Stiffness and aching in the groin may also occur.

  • LGV can be treated with a three-week course of antibiotics.

  • If you or your partner is diagnosed with LGV, you should abstain from sex until your treatment is complete and all symptoms disappear to avoid reinfection.

  • As with all STIs, the most effective protection is to abstain from sexual activity or be monogamous with one long-term partner who has tested negative for LGV. Using latex condoms, particularly for anal sex, can help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the infection.