Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Chancroid, also called 'soft sore', is a relatively rare sexually transmitted disease (STD). Caused by the organism, Haemophylus ducreyi. It is highly contagious. The annual global incidence is about 6 million cases per year.
Chancroid is more common in places with a high incidence of HIV and AIDS. Risky and promiscuous sexual behaviour contributes to a wider incidence of chancroid or soft sore.
The disease is more common in men than in women. The symptoms may be very mild or even absent in women, making them unaware that they are carrying the organism.
Chancroid spreads easily, especially if one of the couple has an open sore. It often spreads through microabrasions which occur during sexual intercourse.
The disease appears 3 - 10 days after sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
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The ulcers are acutely painful, making it dificult for the affected person to sit or walk. In women, they are mostly seen on the labia majora, labia minora, around the introitus (opening of the vagina) and sometimes around the anus. They bleed easily on touch and on gentle cleansing.
Sometimes, the ulcers occur on the opposing parts of the two labia majora so that they touch each other. These are then called 'kissing ulcers'.
There may be difficulty in passing urine due to the pain caused by the soft sores.
Chancroid is easily curable by antibiotic therapy. The common antibiotics used in order of their efficacy are :
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