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Male sex workers


What is LGV?

  • Lymphogranuloma venereum, in short LGV, is a rare STI.  
  • This infection used to occur only in tropical areas, but now this infection also occurs among men having unsafe sex with other men (msm).  
  • Without treatment LGV can cause serious problems.

What causes LGV?


  • LGV is caused by a variant of the chlamydia bacteria.  
  • Especially unsafe anal sex, the joint use of sex toys and fist fucking are a risk.

How can the infection be diagnosed?

  • LGV can be diagnosed by first taking a chlamydia test. 
  • If this test is positive, a subsequent test can show whether it is LGV.  
  • If you don’t have chlamydia, you can’t have LGV either.

What are the complaints?

LGV develops in two stages:

 1st stage:

  • You have a painless bump or ulcer on your penis (glans, foreskin) or anus.  You often don’t notice the first bumps or ulcers.  
  • They heal spontaneously and the infection passes to the next stage without treatment.

2nd stage:

  • Painful lymph gland swelling in the groin.  
  • These lymph glands get swollen by heaping up the infection fluid, so that these glands can burst. 
  • This stage gives you fever, muscle and pain in your joints (a feverish feeling).


  • In contrast with a ‘normal’ chlamydia treatment, you need a long antibiotics treatment in case of LGV during three weeks.  
  • Afterwards it is necessary to check to make sure that the infection is gone.  
  • You can always get infected again.

If LGV is not treated, this may cause:

  • A fistula, 
  • Genital ulcers, 
  • Rectum infection, 
  • Fenital thickening or hardening of the skin of the genitalia.

Warning partners

  • LGV is transmitted by sexual contact, therefore it is important that your sex partners are also examined.  
  • This prevents you from getting infected again or prevents your sex partner from infecting others.  
  • Your sex partners can also have a test and, if necessary, a treatment.

Work advice

  • LGV is a serious STI!
  • If you don’t get at treatment there may be serious complications.  
  • During the treatment no anal, vaginal or oral sex.

Bacterial infections