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April 18, 1942


JAMA. 1942;118(16):1370. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830160030009

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Invariably in past wars there has been an increase in the rates for the venereal diseases. The Annual Report of the Surgeon General of the United States Army for the fiscal year 1941 shows that the venereal disease rate increased in the recent prewar period of mobilization from 29.6 per thousand men in 1939 to 42.5 per thousand men in 1940.

Infected persons in the civilian population, particularly prostitutes, are links in the chain of infection of the armed forces with syphilis and gonorrhea. Frequently the venereal disease rate in the Army and Navy is comparable to the incidence and prevalence of syphilis and gonorrhea in the civilian population in the area in which the armed forces are located. Therefore the civilian program for control of venereal disease must be maintained at the optimum effective level during war.

The War Department is preparing to meet this problem. A venereal disease

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