February 22, 1980

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The Facts

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by David Barlow, 140 pp, with illus, $10.95, New York, Oxford University Press, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;243(8):805. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300340063033

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It perhaps is a sign of the times that books for the public about the sexually transmitted diseases (sexually transmitted disease having succeeded venereal disease) now are appearing, almost as companion volumes to the countless manuals on love-making techniques. These diseases clearly are major problems in this country, with gonorrhea ranking first and syphilis third among reported communicable diseases here and herpesvirus infections increasing ominously, and physicians may find the European (British) viewpoint of this book interesting. Barlow has not lost his sense of humor in dealing with a serious subject (ie, "Because sexual adventures or misadventures are not the prerogative of the dirty, thick, and ill-educated, a representative cross section of society will be found attending a typical clinic, including barristers, and barmaids, doorkeepers and doctors"), and the illustrations include some cartoons that poke gentle fun at some familiar physician-patient conversations ("It's not for me, doctor. I'm inquiring for