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May 4, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(18):1324-1325. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600180052022

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To the Editor:  —The lowest venereal rate of our regular army since the war with Spain was attained in 1916, when 91.23 men per thousand acquired such infection. Prior to the present war, the venereal rate in the home army of England was about 68; of Austria, 54; France, 28; Prussia, 19, and Bavaria, 15. At the present rate, the daily average of disability for duty through venereal disease in our entire army exceeds 30,000 men.The success of the prophylactic treatment admittedly depends on its early use—the sooner the better. Under present regulations, the soldier is not provided with nor required to use prophylactic measures at the time of exposure, because it is believed that his use would be an inefficient substitute for the official treatment that he receives when he returns to camp—an indefinite time after exposure.But why regard his effort as a substitute for the official

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