What Is Chancroid?
Chancroid is a sexually-transmitted disease caused by an infection with the Haemopphilus ducreyi bacteria. It is highly contagious, but it’s also easily cured with antibiotics. Especially in the United States, infection with Chancroid has been on the decline for several years.
How Do You Get Chancroid?
Chancroid is highly contagious. You can get chancroid from having sex with someone who has the disease.
How Do You Know You Have Chancroid?
Chancroid is an ugly, painful infection. About three to seven days after being exposed to chancroid, small, painful papules appear around the genitals. These quickly develop into soft, painful ulcers. The ulcers can bleed and become abscessed, spreading the infectious bacteria to other people during sexual contact or even skin-to-skin contact, and to other parts of the skin of the infected person.
Chancroid is rare in the United States, with fewer than 100 cases reported each year. When it does occur, there’s usually an isolated outbreak affecting more than one person.
Can You Treat or Cure Chancroid?
Yes. Fortunately, Chancroid is easily cured with a small dose of antibiotics. Ulcers usually improve within a few days. The CDC recommends one of the following:
- a single dose of oral Azithromycin 1g
- a single dose of oral Ceftriaxone 250mg
- Ciprofloxacin 500 mg orally twice a day for three days
- Erythromycin 500mg orally three times a day for seven days
Is Chancroid Dangerous?
Someone with a Chancroid infection is more susceptible to HIV and syphilis. Patients with HIV don’t respond to treatment as well as those without HIV and need to be monitored. Chancroid can cause scarring on the skin.
Can You Prevent Chancroid?
The only way to prevent getting Chancroid is to abstain from having sex. You also lower the risk if you are in a monogamous relationship and you’ve both been tested for STDs. Proper use of a condom can also help lower the risk of infection.
How Do You Test for Chancroid?
While there is a test for Chancroid, it requires special equipment and is not 100 percent accurate. Most Chancroid diagnoses are made by observing the genital sores and testing for other STDs that also might cause sores, such as syphilis.
Can I Get an Anonymous Chancroid Test?
If you really believe you have Chancroid, you should get tested for syphilis because the symptoms can be similar. You can get an anonymous syphilis test by following the steps in our free guide to anonymous STD tests.
Chancroid is a notifiable disease and every person infected with chancroid must have their personal information and disease diagnosis reported to the state health department for follow-up.
How Can I Learn More About Chancroid?
The CDC has more information about Chancroid, including 2017 surveillance data and treatment guidelines.