The major diseases that should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ulcerative colitis include infectious colitis, Crohn's colitis, ischemic colitis, irradiation colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis (see Tabje. 77-2.). When the disease is limited to the rectum, particular attention should be paid to sexually acquired diseases, which are frequently seen in the male homosexual population ("gay bowel disease"). Some of the more common diseases in this category include rectal syphilis, gonococcal proctitis, lymphogranuloma venereum, and inflammations caused by herpes simplex virus, Entamoeba histolytica, shigella, and Campylobacter.
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