There's an STI On the Rise, Here's What to Know

There's a sexually transmitted infection on the rise around the world, which means people in the United States need to be aware of it as well. Granuloma Inguinale, or Donovanosis, is a bacterial infection that causes sores on the genitals. It spreads mainly through sexual contact, and very rarely through non-sexual skin-to-skin contact. As of 2021, the STI is very rare in the U.S., but that doesn't mean it won't spread. Awareness of the infection is the first step in preventing the spread of it. 

The symptoms stay the same across all genders. The most common symptom of donovanosis is slow-growing open, painless lesions directly on the genitals. Less common, are lesions around the genitals, anus or even the mouth. These usually start as firm, raised bumps before splitting open into lesions. These are are usually painless but often bleed easily and can worsen without treatment. Symptoms appear between 1 to 4 weeks after infection, but in rare cases, can take up to 1 year to appear.

There are four types of donovanosis, depending on the appearance of the lesions. 

  1. Ulcerogranulomatous is the most common. The sores are beefy-red in appearance with tissue that gets grainier with lots of tiny blood vessels over time. These usually don't hurt but can bleed.
  2. The second is hypertrophic. These typically have an uneven boarder and are completely dry. 
  3. Necrotic ulcers are lesions that grow deeper into the skin and are foul-smelling and painful.
  4. Fibrous ulcers are painless and look like scar tissue.

If you suspect you may have donovanosis or another STI, our doctors at LaSante Health Center can diagnose and treat you. Book an appointment online or call (718) 246-5700.

Picture of Katherine Griffitts Katherine Griffitts As a former Journalist with a background in both politics and healthcare, Katherine Griffitts brings an exceptional level of expertise to the table in blog writing while sticking to the hard facts. She's thorough in her research and writes on only the most important of ideas for LaSante Health Center.

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