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‘The bad disorder’: syphilis before 1944
  1. Huw Houssemayne du Boulay
  1. Correspondence to Huw Houssemayne du Boulay, Myrtle Cottage, Cooksbridge, Lewes, East Sussex BN84SW, UK; huwduboulay{at}yahoo.co.uk

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Syphilis is ‘intended as a punishment for our sins and we should not interfere in the matter’1—Sir Samuel Solly (lecturer and surgeon), 1868.

In the first issue of the British Journal of Venereology in 1925, syphilis was a subject already in the mind of the medical world, with the first article not describing its symptoms, as they ‘are familiar to every reader of this Journal’.2 Syphilis had a long history of stigma, evidenced by the prevalence of …

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