Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • Joseph C. Chan


Historically, society ignored the problems of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and, if forced to confront them, placed the blame on a small element of the population: prostitutes. The medical profession often contributed to this moralistic view and considered all STDs proper punishment of our sins.1 By the turn of the century, the social hygiene movement changed some of these attitudes in this country, and physicians began to assume more responsibility for the detection and treatment of STDs. During World War I, military commanders on both sides were forced to deal with the alarming presence of STDs among their troops. In the United States, STDs constituted the most frequent cause of rejection of draftees by the Selective Service. In 1918, Congress passed the Chamberlain-Kahn Act, creating the venereal disease control division within the U.S. Public Health Service.2 Efforts to control STDs dwindled rapidly after the war and remained in the doldrums for about 20 years. Efforts were again intensified during World War II and were again dismantled with the discovery of penicillin and an initial success in reducing gonorrhea and syphilis. At present, the United States has one of the highest rates for these two diseases in the world.


Sexual Partner Bacterial Vaginosis Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Genital Herpes 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph C. Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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