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March 30, 1963

Responsibility of a Physician in a Program for Eradication of Syphilis

Author Affiliations

Nashville, Tenn.

From the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1963;183(13):1094-1098. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700130013012

CONTROL of venereal diseases can be attained only at the price of eternal vigilance in terms of case finding and treatment.

The recent rising incidence of syphilis was anticipated and warned against by some of those who had a role during the "golden decade of syphilis control" beginning in 1936.1 As activity in case finding developed and progressed in those years, the incidence of syphilis decreased. The even lessened incidence during the war years was contributed to by men entering the armed forces and the enforced hospitalization of prostitutes for so-called "rapid" treatment with oxophenarsine HCl (Mapharsen) given as an intravenous drip. When the veterans returned and the controlled treatment of prostitutes ceased, the incidence of syphilis rose quite markedly. Then penicillin, having become available, permitted adequate short-term and completed treatment, with the result of a lessened incidence of infectious relapse, thereby reducing the major reservoir of infection

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