Chancroid

Menstuff® has compiled information the issue of Chancroid.

What is Chancroid?
How common is Chancroid?
How can I get Chancroid?
What are the signs or symptoms of Chancroid?
How can I find out if I have Chancroid?
What is the treatment for Chancroid?
What can I do to reduce my risk of getting Chancroid?
Why worry about Chancroid?
Do I need to talk to my partner about Chancroid?
Should I talk to my health care provider about Chancroid?
Where can I get more information?
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What is chancroid?

Chancroid is a highly contagious yet curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Haemophilus Ducreyi [hum-AH-fill-us DOO-cray]. Chancroid causes ulcers, usually of the genitals. Swollen, painful lymph glands, or inguinal buboes [in-GWEEN-al BEW-boes], in the groin area are often associated with chancroid. Left untreated, chancroid may facilitate the transmission of HIV.

How common is Chancroid?

Chancroid is very common in Africa and is becoming more common in the United States.

How can I get Chancroid?

Chancroid is transmitted in two ways:

A person is considered to be infectious when ulcers are present. There has been no reported disease in infants born to women with active chancroid at time of delivery.

What are the signs or symptoms of Chancroid?

Symptoms usually occur within 10 days from exposure. They rarely develop earlier than three days or later than 10 days.

The ulcer begins as a tender, elevated bump, or papule, that becomes a pus-filled, open sore with eroded or ragged edges.

It is soft to the touch (unlike a syphilis chancre that is hard or rubbery). The term soft chancre is frequently used to describe the chancroid sore.

The ulcers can be very painful in men but women are often unaware of them.

Because chancroid is often asymptomatic in women, they are often unaware of the lesion(s).

Painful lymph glands may occur in the groin, usually only on one side; however, they can occur on both sides.

How can I find out if I have Chancroid?

Diagnosis is made by isolating the bacteria Hemophilus Ducreyi (hum-AH-fill-us DOO-cray) in a culture from a genital ulcer. The chancre is often confused with syphilis, herpes or lymphogranuloma venereum; therefore, it is important that your health care provider rule these diseases out.

A gram stain to identify H. Ducreyi is possible but can be misleading because of other organisms found in most genital ulcers.

What is the treatment for Chancroid?

Chancroid can be treated with antibiotics. Successful treatment:

Treatment regimens may include the following:

A follow-up examination should be conducted three to seven days after treatment begins. If treatment is successful, ulcers usually improve within three to seven days. The time required for complete healing is related to the size of the ulcer. Large ulcers may require two weeks or longer to heal. In severe cases, scarring may result. Partners should be examined and treated regardless of whether symptoms are present.

What can I do to reduce my risk of getting Chancroid?

If you do get chancroid, avoid contact with the infected area to prevent chance of autoinoculation.

Why worry about Chancroid?

Chancroid had been well established as a cofactor for HIV transmission. Moreover, persons with HIV may experience slower healing of chancroid, even with treatment, and may need to take medications for a longer period of time. Complications from changroid include:

Do I need to talk to my partner about Chancroid?

You should talk to your partner as soon as you learn you have chancroid. Telling a partner can be hard, but it's important that you talk to your partner as soon as possible so she or he can get treatment.

Should I talk to my health care provider about Chancroid?

If you have a genital ulcer or painful, swollen lymph nodes, you may need to talk to your doctor about whether or not you should be tested. However, it's important to remember that some people, usually women, are asymptomatic. If you are having unprotected sex or discover that your partner is having unprotected sex with another person, you may want to ask your doctor about being tested.

Where can I get more information?

If you have additional questions about chancroid, call the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines at 1-800-342-2437 or 1-800-227-8922. The hotlines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For information in Spanish call 1-800-344-7432, 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM Eastern Time, seven days a week. For the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing call 1-800-243-7889, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. www.ashastd.org/stdfaqs/chancroid.html

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