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Between 1908 and 1912, clinics for the care of venereal disease were packed with sufferers from all ranks of society; whispers circulated in the dormitories of the colleges about students whose entire careers had been ruined by attacks of venereal disease. The end-results of gonorrhea were horribly depicted, as were those of syphilis, in fake clinics conducted by venereal disease quacks. The museums of horrors were conspicuous in the districts devoted to honky-tonks and night clubs in every great city. The armies of the world were overwhelmed with the costs of caring for venereal disease; great numbers of men had constantly to be hospitalized and taken away from military service because of these infections. Moreover, at that time one hardly dared to speak either the word "gonorrhea" or "syphilis." No newspaper, at least in the United States, would dare to print the words.

The steady progress of medical science has now enabled us to determine the exact cause of each of the venereal diseases; to establish positive methods of diagnosis; to develop capable techniques of prevention; and, best of all, to find methods of treatment which can cure gonorrhea within twenty-four to forty-eight hours and bring syphilis under control within a week.

Serious is the spread of venereal diseases associated with the rise of juvenile delinquency. The infected adolescent fears to consult medical advice. With the decrease in venereal disease doctors do not take seriously enough the necessity for detecting and following up contacts.

With the elimination of gonorrhea has gone the host of complications, including infected tubes and prostate glands and infected sex organs, with accompanying sterility. Surgical operations necessitated by gonorrheal infections are no longer frequent. Gonorrheal arthritis, a terrible disabling and crippling disease, is so infrequent that it is hardly suspected in making a diagnosis.

In New York City an appropriation of several hundreds of thousands of dollars usually made each year for the operation of venereal disease clinics has been eliminated from the city budget. Our armed forces and the United States Public Health Service still conduct a number of clinics, because apparently venereal disease is still a problem among troops, but even here the total number of cases, the length of the disability, and the complications have been reduced.


Men's Health