2005 April/May 

Many questions, no answers

Research into the current outbreaks of LGV in Western countries is necessary, as there are many issues and questions raised by scientists at the CDC and in New York City for which there are currently no clear solutions or answers, including the following:

  • Because some symptoms of LGV, such as rectal bleeding, are similar to other conditions such as Crohn’s disease or rectal cancer, it is possible that previous cases of LGV have been missed.
  • Simple diagnostic tests for LGV are needed.
  • Although LGV appears to be spread through unprotected anal intercourse, the roles of “fisting” and the use of sex toys in transmitting this infection are not clear.
  • Strangely, few cases of LGV infection of the penis have been reported. Is it possible that symptom-free cases of LGV infection can exist in the mouth, throat, urethra and cervix?
  • Must treatment for LGV continue for 21 days or are shorter regimens also effective?
  • Are HIV positive people more susceptible to LGV?
  • What role do illicit substances such as crystal methaphetamine play in the transmission or susceptibility to LGV infection?

Answers to these questions are needed to help bring the outbreak of LGV to a halt.


1. Blank S, Schillinger JA, Harbatkin D. Lymphogranuloma venereum in the industrialised world. Lancet 2005;365(9471):1607-1608.

Created on: 2005 June 6

Author: Hosein SR