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October 19, 1918


Author Affiliations

Medical Inspector, City of Seattle Health Department SEATTLE

JAMA. 1918;71(16):1297-1298. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600420039011

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The West recognized venereal diseases as a public health problem and undertook venereal prophylaxis when in the spring of 1913 Seattle established the first free municipal venereal clinic. It had as its chief the genito-urinary surgeon of the City Hospital, and was located in one of the outpatient rooms of the hospital. The object was to treat all indigent venereal patients, the surgeon donating the time and the city furnishing the equipment and medicine. Both male and female patients were treated, and any necessary surgical work was done in the hospital. That clinic is still running today.

In 1917, numerous individuals and various organizations tried to devise some means of decreasing venereal diseases among soldiers and sailors visiting our cities. Little came of this because of no two having the same idea, until the Committee on Venereal Prophylaxis of the state medical association, aided by public spirited persons, established two

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