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Geschlechtskrankheiten, Gesundheitspolitik und Medizin im 20. Jahrhundert: Europäische Entwicklungen im Überblick

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lutz Sauerteig


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By the end of the nineteenth century, in many European countries, venereal diseases (VD) had become a metaphor for moral decay and decadence in society. Although medical understanding and knowledge of VD rapidly improved during the nineteenth century, no progress was made in respect to VD treatment. The development of Salvarsan in 1910 by Paul Ehrlich and his team was an important breakthrough in treating syphilis. However, treatment with Salvarsan was risky and could lead to very serious side effects. At the end of the World War II, Penicillin became an effective drug for treating syphilis as well as gonorrhoea efficiently and with no serious side effects. As a response to the spread of VD, European countries introduced various public health strategies and VD policies. Such policies were, on the one hand, concerned with the controling of VD patients and, on the other hand, with public health education and VD prophylaxis. Whereas some countries relied on restrictive VD control measures, other countries favoured a voluntary approach. Some countries informed their population about VD prophylactics (e.g. condoms and disinfectants); other countries refused such educational campaigns on moral grounds. At the beginning of the twenty-first century STI remain a serious global and transnational threat to health and wellbeing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sauerteig L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sexuologie. Zeitschrift für Sexualmedizin, Sexualtherapie und Sexualwissenschaft

Year: 2012

Volume: 19

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 111-118

ISSN (print): 0944-7105

Publisher: Rainer Alisch