STD Facts: Chancroid - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Chancroid (caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, a bacteria):
Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts

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

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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

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)

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Updated Friday, September 16, 2016 at 09:50AM