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March 4, 1905


Author Affiliations

Physician to the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital; Consulting Physician to the New York Hospital. NEW YORK CITY.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(9):681-684. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500360007002b

Syphilis is not necessarily a venereal disease. Syphilis is one of the great diseases affecting the human race, and if its entire clinical history could be perfectly known, for ages past, it would be recognized that this one poison had caused greater damage and misery and more decided race degeneration than any other one malady, except tuberculosis. And yet, thus far, except in a few isolated localities, there has been no general and intelligent attempt to restrict its ravages.

The common occurrence of syphilis as a result of unlawful sexual intercourse, and its inclusion among venereal diseases in so many text-books of late years, are undoubtedly the cause of much of the feeling existing in regard to it as a disease not to be mentioned in good society, and one whose recognition should be tabooed. It has been ignored through ignorance and neglected through negligence.

In studying the older