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Venereal Disease Treatment: History

Venereal diseases are sexually contagious illnesses. Major types of venereal diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, human papillomavirus, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and viral hepatitis.

The history of venereal disease is an important topic because it demonstrates the connections between sex, disease, fear of contagion, prejudice, and medicine. For centuries, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been connected to larger cultural norms about virtue, sin, intimacy, and gender norms. They have also been cloaked in secrecy, stigma, and discrimination. Historically, people with STDs often faced a great deal of stigma and were considered morally degenerate. Such was the shame associated with STDs that many doctors would write false causes of death on death notices in order to protect the reputation of ...

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