Chancroid: Fast Facts About STDs

Fast Facts About STDs: Chancroid

Name of Disease or Infection

Type of Disease or Infection
Bacterial, caused by the bacteria Hemophilas ducreyi.

How Common Is It?
A bacterial infection that physically resembles herpes sores, but is treatable. Relatively uncommon in the U.S., chancroid has been on the rise -- over 5,000 cases were reported last year.

How Do I Get It?
Chancroid is transmitted through direct sexual contact with lesions and/or pus of an infected person.

A small, painful, pimple-like outbreak surrounded by redness. Within 48 hours, the sore fills with pus and bursts, leaving small ulcers. Many women are asymptomatic but can still transmit the infection to others. Symptoms appear three to five days after exposure.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have It?
If you think you might have chancroid, visit your doctor or clinician immediately.

How Do I Get Rid of It?
Your doctor will give you a prescription for erythromycin or azithromycin or give you an injection of ceftriaxone.

What Happens If I Don't Treat It?
In over half of all cases, the lymph nodes in the groin also become infected, causing inflammation and swelling. Without treatment, the infection can be spread to sex partners until lesions are healed, or for up to several months.

Who Should I Tell?
If you have chancroid, you should tell any current or very recent partners (i.e., people you had sexual contact with over the last month). Once the disease has been successfully treated, you do not need to tell future partners.

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