Lymphogranuloma venereum is a bacterial infection cause by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. This sexually transmitted disease (STD) is fairly uncommon in the United States, and the disease is practically non-existent in developed countries until 2004. Lymphogranuloma venereum reappeared among gay men in the Netherlands so that a special attention is given to the disease once again. Since the increase attention, lymphogranuloma venereum has been reported in 7 other European countries and the U.S.A. and Canada. The disease is also common in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Sexually active people with multiple partners are at high risk of contracting lymphogranuloma venereum.
Lymphogranuloma venereum is cause by an infection of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The disease is mainly transmitted through sexual penetration, but skin-to-skin contact may also transmit the causal bacteria. Sexually active individuals, especially those with multiple sex partners who do not practice safe sex, are at risk of contracting the disease. Sexual penetration through the vagina, anus, or mouth can deposit the bacteria in these openings causing lymphogranuloma venereum around these areas. Mutual masturbation can also transmit the bacteria through skin-to-skin contact.
The symptoms of lymphogranuloma venereum can appear as early as 3 or as late as 30 days after the infection. The disease typically manifests in three stages, which are as follows:
The disease is treated with a course of antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline, and erythromycin. If the patient has developed complications from severe infection, supportive treatment is needed. For example, the rectal blockage may need to be dilated or surgically repaired. The patient may need a colostomy to temporarily relieve the obstruction. The women could develop rectovaginal fistula, which needs to be corrected through surgery. The buboes also need to be drained through needle aspiration or incision.
Lymphogranuloma venereum can only be prevented by practicing safe sex. However, using a condom does not offer a 100 percent protection against the disease. The safest way is to have you and your partner tested with any forms of STD including lymphogranuloma venereum, and do not have sex with multiple partners. Individuals who see a symptom of STD or lymphogranuloma venereum should have themselves tested immediately.