Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by strains of the more common STI chlamydia. LGV causes symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, muscular pain and a general feeling of being unwell. Symptoms can become severe if left untreated, and lead to longer-term health problems, but the infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Over recent years, there have been outbreaks of LGV amongst gay men in several cities in the UK, but it has not always been clear what put men at risk of LGV infection. New research suggests that unprotected receptive anal sex is the key risk factor for LGV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM). Fisting, anonymous sex and sex while taking the drugs GHB or GBL were also found to be risk factors. They also found that a very high proportion (89%) of the men with LGV in the study were also HIV positive.

Avoiding STIs is important for everyone’s health, but it is especially important if you have HIV. This is because STIs can not only cause illness (in some cases, more so in people with HIV), but they can also increase the risk that you will pass on HIV during unprotected sex, even if you have an undetectable viral load.

The full article can be read here.