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Penicillin's introduction in 1943 as a simple, inexpensive cure for syphilis had notable influences on venereology and broader sexual healthcare systems. Foremost among these was the perception that venereal disease (VD) no longer posed a threat and therefore merited fewer resources for control. As the chairman of a regional hospital board replied, when asked about reconstructing a VD clinic in 1958: “We don't want to spend money on these dying diseases”.1 While venereology had developed as a specialty in part because of Salvarsan, general practitioners could easily provide penicillin to patients. Thus, penicillin's success left some venereologists reflecting that they …
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