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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health

Chancroid FAQs

What is it chancroid?

Chancroid is also known as genital ulcer disease (GUD). It is a sexually transmitted infection. This infection is caused by your skin touching the sore on someone else. The sores are caused by a bacterial infection. These sores are on the genital area and are very painful, unlike the sores from syphilis.

How is chancroid spread?

You can get chancroid only by having sexual contact with persons having ulcerations/sores. You cannot get chancroid from someone who does not have an ulcer. There is a 5 –14 day incubation period. This means that if you had sex with someone who had an ulcer, it could take between 5 and 14 days before you get a sore.

How can you get tested?

A swab of the sore can be done at your doctor’s or a sexual health clinic.

What can chancroid do to your body?

Having a chancroid greatly increases the risk of getting HIV. The sores are very painful and can be passed on to your sexual partners. The infection is not usually life threatening, but is more problematic for people with weakened immune systems.

How is chancroid treated?

Your doctor or healthcare provider will give you antibiotics that will clear up the ulcer/sore. Once the treatment is finished and the sores are gone, you will no longer be able to pass the infection onto anyone else. Chancroid is not an infection that comes back without you coming in contact with it, on a sexual partner.

What about sexual partners?

There is a 5 –14 day incubation period. This means that all the people you had sex with in the last 2 weeks also need to be treated with antibiotics. These people are treated, even if they do not have any sores.


Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2008.

Chancroid Fact Sheet printable pdf

Need More Information About Chancroid FAQs?

Talk to your health care provider or call our Communicable DiseaseProgram at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

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