Please help us improve our website by taking the MDH Web User Survey.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts

Chancroid (caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, a bacteria)

NOTE: Chancroid is rare in the U.S. If you have signs or symptoms of any sexually transmitted disease you should see a health care provider for evaluation and possible treatment.

On this page:
Signs and Symptoms
Testing and Treatment
For More Information

Download PDF versions below, formatted for print:

Signs and Symptoms

Chancroid Symptoms:

  • Painful and draining open sores in the genital area
  • Painful, swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Begin 4-10 days after exposure


  • Vaginal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex
  • Skin to skin contact with infected lesion or sore


If left untreated, chancroid:

  • Can spread to sex partners
  • Makes it easier to transmit or acquire HIV during sex
  • Can cause destruction of foreskin tissue on penis
  • Sores can become infected with other germs


  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of chancroid only when the infected areas are covered or protected by the condom.
  • Always use latex condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use a latex condom for oral sex on a penis.
  • Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if infected.
  • Infected sex partners should be tested and treated.

Testing and Treatment

  • Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
  • Chancroid can be cured using medication prescribed by a medical provider.
  • Partners should be treated at the same time.

NOTE: A person can be re-infected after treatment.

For more information, contact:

STD, HIV and TB Section
Minnesota Department of Health
(651) 201-5414

Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline
1-800-783-2287 Voice/TTY; (651) 645-9360 (Metro)

American Social Health Association (ASHA)

CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines
1-800-CDC-INFO; 1-888-232-6348 TTY
1-800-344-7432 (Spanish)

Content Notice: This site contains HIV or STD prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV and other STDs are spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this web site.

Updated Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 10:31AM