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Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Focus on Chancroid Your Name Due Date Introduction The last thing that most people want to talk about is their present, past, or, potential, future experiences with sexually transmitted diseases…
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Today, in the United States, medications and treatments are available to treat and, possibly, cure certain sexually transmitted diseases; however, that was not always the case in our past and certainly not the case for many other countries around the world. There are quite a few sexually transmitted diseases that are more familiar than others; including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, candidiasis, trichomoniasis, and lastly, chancroid. Chancroid, which is possibly unfamiliar to many, is uncommon in the United States today, but it is a serious condition that is spreading throughout parts of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean (Comacho, 2012). History Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, like chancroid, have probably been around since as long as human civilization. For our ancestors, lacking sophisticated sciences and healthcare, distinguishing between one STD and another with similar symptoms could become quite difficult. It is estimated that chancroid, specifically, was prevalent in the United States and Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries, most likely, caused by mass migrations, economic expansions, and the availability of sex for sale. In the earliest part of the 20th century Britain estimated that, at least, 10% of the population was infected with syphilis, even, more had contracted gonorrhea, and chancroid was equally as common as syphilis. However, by the 1930’s Britain’s percentages of chancroid decreased rapidly. In the United States the experience was rather similar. After World War II, with the advent of antibiotics, STD statistics as a whole declined and chancroid, specifically, dropped 80-fold between 1947 and 1997. Antibiotics, a less prevalent sex trade, better economic opportunities for women, and reduced migration, also, contributed to the positive decline of Chancroid in America. As can be seen from the chart below the statistical numbers of chancroid have continued to drop with great consistency. There was a few years in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, where the occurrences of chancroid spiked. Experts insist that this coincided with a spike in sex trade and drug-trafficking that negatively highlighted that portion of the decade (Goldman & Schafer, 2011). Discussion In order to understand the specifics of chancroid better it is necessary to detail the nature of the disease, the symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, as well as other relevant information. Chancroid is defined as a sexually transmitted disease that is characterized by inguinal lymphadenitis and genital ulcers, which is cause by Haemophilus ducreyi, or H. ducreyi, which is a gram negative cocco bacillus (Goldman & Schafer, 2011). It is most commonly suffered by men, but women, by no means, are immune. It appears to thrive in developing countries and where the sale of sex is highest. H. ducreyi enters the body through any breaks in the epithelium, or skin, during intercourse. It may take as long as a few days or as short as a few hours before papules appear. Within a 2 to 3 day pustules will ulcerate. These ragged-edged ulcers are extremely painful, are, sometimes, covered in grayish or yellow exudate, and it may bleed when scratched. As can be seen in the illustrations below, men display their chancroid externally; the lesions appear on the foreskin, coronal sulcus, and shaft of the penis. A woman’s experience with this condition presents itself a little differently. In women chancroid will develop the ulcers, but they
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