According to the aidsmap web site that includes daily news on developments in the world of HIV, Lymphongranuloma Venereum is predominately affecting HIV-positive gay men in the United States, as well as in north-western Europe and Canada.
LGV, a sexually transmitted disease, is caused by a particularly invasive type of Chlamydia bacteria that commercial lab tests cannot identify. According to The Arbiter, Boise State’s student newspaper, LGV is known to few American physicians.
“We do not see a lot of LGV cases, maybe 1 in 3 months,” said Shankar Shetty, director of the FAMU Student Health Services.
LGV cases are not as common as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, which make up the majority of STD infections, according to Shetty.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has begun to raise awareness and assess the occurrence of LGV by asking clinicians to report suspected infections to health departments.
Symptoms of LGV are hard to detect, so Shetty urges students to see a doctor if any abnormal swelling occurs in the inguinal area. The inguinal area is located near both sides of the genitalia part of the body.
Some symptoms of LGV include tender or enlarged glands in the inguinal areas, but burning and discharge, which are common symptoms of STD’s, are not associated, Shetty said.
LGV can be treated wit antibiotics.
“Doxycycline or Erythromycin are antibodies for LGV, which require a 21-day subscription,” said Shetty.
“Having a disease that is unknown to Americans should make everyone more aware of the partners they choose, and the importance of students getting tested,” said Rosalynne Jones, 20, a junior biology/pre-med student from Washington.
According to The Arbiter that cited John Hopkins University infectious disease expert Jonathan Zenilman, LGV was identified by pathologists nearly 100 years ago. LGV showed up onto the U.S. public health radar screen in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when it was called “gay bowel syndrome.”
“You want to be as safe as possible, because you never know what your partner is doing,” said Martez Prince, 19, a sophomore pharmacy student from Fort Pierce, Fla. Prince and Jones both agree that protecting yourself while engaging in sexual activity is the best prevention method.
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