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February 6, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(6):478-479. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780060044013

The Advisory Committee to the U. S. Public Health Service1 has included as an important element of a program for the control of syphilis "the preparation and dissemination of educational material to the general public." Use of radio broadcasts, pamphlets, motion pictures, lectures, exhibits and the press was suggested. For the press the caution was voiced: "Brief statements from authoritative sources should be prepared for the press."

One of the foremost obstacles to the success of a campaign against syphilis is the tabu that has until recently applied to the word "syphilis." The conspiracy of silence that has prevented the dissemination of fundamental information concerning the disease to the nonmedical public has been unfortunate. The situation as to syphilis today is analogous to that of tuberculosis a generation and a half ago. Much of the progress that has been made in the control of tuberculosis is due to the

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