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September 12, 1936

THE CIVILIAN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM IN THE CONTROL OF SYPHILIS

JAMA. 1936;107(11):872-874. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.92770370013008c
Abstract

Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher and physician of the twelfth century, wrote that success is the synthesis of four elements—good material with which to work, a good plan according to which it may be fashioned, good technic in the execution of the plan and, finally, a good objective. Perhaps there may be found in this philosophy a formula for the development of a successful program of civilian education in the control of syphilis.

The objective has been identified. Is it a good one?

Syphilis, like gonorrhea, may have had its origin in antiquity. It is certain, however, that it has enjoyed universal prevalence since early in the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, its recognition as an almost epidemic disease came at a time when public morals were such as to facilitate its rapid spread and to fix attention almost exclusively on its relation to sexual promiscuity. It soon became the badge of

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