LGV in the UK: almost 350 cases reported and still predominantly affecting HIV-positive gay men

Michael Carter,

Over 300 cases of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) have been diagnosed in the United Kingdom, according to figures presented to a sexual health conference on May 10th. Nearly all the cases involved gay men, many of whom were HIV-positive. Co-infection with other sexually transmitted infections such as hepatitis C virus, was also common.

LGV is a form of chlamydia, and although endemic in many parts of the world, it was rarely seen in Europe and North America after the introduction of antibiotics. However, in 2004 a cluster of LGV infections was seen amongst gay men who had attended sex parties in the Netherlands. The infection was quickly disseminated across western Europe and cases have also been reported in the United States.

In October 2004, enhanced national surveillance of LGV was commenced in the United Kingdom and investigators from Imperial College, University of London, presented data on the epidemiology of the infection in the United Kingdom, based upon reports received until the end of March 2006.

The investigators reported that a total of 341 cases of LGV had been diagnosed in the United Kingdom with detailed information being available for 283 cases. All but three of these cases involved gay men. The LGV epidemic was focused in London, where almost three quarters of infections were located. A secondary focus of the infections was Brighton (14%), with the remaining cases distributed across the country.

Most patients (94%) presented with symptoms of inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), although 30% also had flu-like symptoms and in a small proportion of individuals (3%) the infection was silent.


LGV Special report in HTB (July 2005):

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