Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The impact of penicillin on sexual healthcare delivery systems in mid-20th century Britain
  1. Adam Gilbertson1,2,3,
  2. Adriane Gelpi1,2,
  3. Joseph D Tucker1,4
  1. 1 Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2 Social Medicine Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3 School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  4. 4 International Diagnostics Centre, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph D Tucker, International Diagnostics Centre, Keppel Street, WCE1, London, UK; joseph.tucker{at}post.harvard.edu

Statistics from Altmetric.com

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 …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles