Apart from the Japanese islands, and those of Karabati (lately Gilbert Islands), which lie just north of the equator, the islands of the northern Pacific Ocean are either American owned or otherwise administered. Even the Japanese islands were controlled by the USA for varying numbers of years after the second world war. Venereal disease statistics from Guam, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Gilbert Islands have been collated by the South Pacific Commission and will be presented in a second paper. Those from the Hawaiian Islands (the fiftieth state of the USA) are published by the United States Public Health Service and include those from Honolulu, the capital. While the rates per 100 000 for both syphilis and gonorrhoea are lower than those for the USA as a whole, the trends since 1970 have been less satisfactory in the state of Hawaii than for the whole of the United States. While the disturbing increasing incidence of primary and secondary syphilis was checked in 1977, that of gonorrhoea has continued to rise. The number of cases of gonorrhoea also increased in Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands but there has been a recent fall from earlier peak figures. The pattern of venereal disease in the most developed Pacific islands is thus gradually approaching what may be expected elsewhere in modern western society and it would seem logical to expect that this trend will continue.
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