Significant increases in LGV in gay men from 2017 to 2019: latest PHE report

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 9 December, Public Health England (PHE) published their latest report on Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV). This included significant increases in this STI that predominantly affects gay men (95% of cases). [1]

Between 2018 and 2019 the number of clinical cases increased by 56% and laboratory diagnoses increased by 32%. This continues a similar trend from 2017 to 2018.

Although the number of tests also increased by 20% from about 10,500 to 12,600 (to include HIV negative men who were asymptomatic), the proportion of test with positive results also increased from 8.2% to 9.0% suggestion a real increase in transmission.

The report includes more detail on annual rates since 2011, age, HIV status, STI history, UK region and country of birth. It also notes that similar increases have been reported in other European countries including the Netherlands, France and Italy.

Although referring to social changes including reduced use of condoms and more frequent STI testing the report also refers to studies from 2016 and 2020 that suggest continued transmission might be explained by undiagnosed asymptomatic LGV infection. [2, 3]


  1. PHE. Trends of Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) in England: 2019. Health Protection Report Volume 14 Number 23. (9 December 2020). (PDF) (download page)
  2. Cole MJ, et al. Substantial underdiagnosis of Lymphogranuloma venereum in men who have sex with men in Europe: preliminary findings from a multicentre surveillance pilot. Sex Transm Infect 96(2): 137-142. (March 2020).
  3. Saxon C, et al (2016). Asymptomatic Lymphogranuloma venereum in men who have sex with men, United Kingdom. Emerg Infect Dis. 22(1): 112-116.

This report was first posted on 10 January 2020.


Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.