Chancroid is a little-known STD (sexually transmitted
disease). It is found all over the world, but is most prevalent in the Third
World and developing countries. It is characterised by the development of ulcers
or chancres on the genital areas, and is therefore sometimes known as "soft
chancre". Chancroid is caused by the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi.
is chancroid transmitted?
Chancroid can be sexually transmitted if there
is skin-to-skin contact with open sores.
Non-sexual transmission is also possible if a person
comes into contact with the pus-like fluid which comes from the ulcer.
are the symptoms of chancroid?
- Within three to ten days, one or more ulcers
will appear on the genitals.
- These ulcers begin as tender bumps, but within
a day they become painful, open sores. These sores are full of pus and have
- Some people may experience painful lymph glands
in the groin.
- Chancroid tends to be more painful in men.
- Chancroid in women can be asymptomatic (show
no symptoms), and therefore they may be unaware that they have contracted
the disease. Others may not experience sores, but may develop symptoms such
as vaginal discharge or rectal bleeding.
is chancroid treated?
Chancroid is treated with antibiotics. If treatment
is successful, the ulcers usually begin to improve within a week. The larger
the ulcer, the longer it will take to heal.
Yes. You can get chancroid again if you have sex
with an infected partner.
can I prevent getting chancroid?
You can avoid getting chancroid if you only have
sex with one, uninfected partner. If you are not in a monogamous relationship,
always use a condom for vaginal and anal sex. Remember however, a condom may
protect the penis, vagina, and anus, but it can't protect other areas such as
the scrotum. Therefore if you notice anything unusual in your partners
genital area, abstain from sex until it has been checked out.
I have chancroid, how long am I infectious?
A person remains infectious as long as there are
ulcers present. Therefore it is essential that you do not take part in any sexual
activity until the ulcers are completely cured. Otherwise you may spread it
to your partner(s).
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