Volume s1-10, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Contrary to popular belief syphilis still presents many unknown aspects. It is true that dependable methods are available for the diagnosis of the early case and of a certain proportion of otherwise obscure late cases; that the mode of transmission is known; that methods of treatment can be applied which will temporarily sterilize and permanently arrest or cure a high proportion of early cases; but the fact remains that the application of present knowledge has not brought this disease under control. It remains as one of the two or three most important diseases from the public health standpoint.

Against this background of present knowledge should be sketched some of the unknown factors in order to get a true perspective of the syphilis problem. For purposes of discussion these factors may be grouped into: () The problem of the growth and biology of the infecting organism; () the reactions of the body resulting from the infection; () diagnosis and treatment of the disease; () public health, epidemiological, and sociological problems.


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