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From testing to screening for STIs
  1. Nicola Low
  1. Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nicola Low, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Finkenhubelweg 11, Bern CH-3012, Switzerland; Nicola.low{at}

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Venereology is a pioneer medical specialty in both diagnostic testing and screening. Wassermann developed a non-treponemal serological test to diagnose syphilis in 1906 and Ehrlich discovered Salvarsan in 1907. Syphilis thus became the first disease for which screening to detect asymptomatic infection was beneficial because both a reliable test and treatment were available.1 ‘Routine’ testing for syphilis in all pregnant women was recommended in the British Journal of Venereal Diseases in …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.