Calculations by the World Health Organisation show that throughout the world, nine million people are affected by Chancroid every year. Despite the fact that Chancroid is considered to be very uncommon in western societies (with as little as one in every two million people having Chancroid), statistics show that those who have been diagnosed, have visited areas where the disease is very common.

So if you are planning on travelling to Africa or Asia, you should make sure that one thing you don’t bring back is Chancroid.

What is Chancroid?

Chancroid is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection, which causes sores on the genitals. The infection is considered to be more common in males and those with Chancroid have a higher risk of contracting HIV.
What are the symptoms and signs?

Symptoms for Chancroid may include:

  • Swollen glands in the penis.
  • Open ulcers/sores. These most commonly occur on the penis, rectum, vulva and opening to the vagina. The sores range from 3 to 50mm and are often painful and produce pus.

Women frequently have fewer symptoms than men but have four or more ulcers. Around 50% of men with Chancroid only have a single ulcer.

How is Chancroid spread?

Chancroid is spread through skin to skin contact during sexual activity. Chancroid can spread to other parts of the body if the individual touches the sores.

What is the treatment?

Chancroid can be easily treated with antibiotics. It is highly recommended that you and your partner should be treated together.

In what ways can I prevent getting or spreading the infection?

Avoiding sexual activity will prevent you from getting any form of an STI. However, if you are taking part in sexual activity, always use a condom.

This guest post was written by Jessica Delaney a communication student at Sheffield Hallam University.

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