April 14, 2016 |
The false-positive syphilis test in 2014 spread through Edna Villafane's life like an insidious infection, ruining everything in its wake, she says. Enraged by the news that his pregnant girlfriend of eight years had a sexually transmitted disease, Villafane's boyfriend kicked down her door - which, she says, led to her eviction from her North Philadelphia apartment. Villafane says the stress of being told she had a venereal disease, and of losing both her love and her home, caused her to go into premature labor.
April 26, 2015 |
A middle-age man in excellent health awoke one morning, turned to check the time on his bedside clock - and realized that overnight, he had gone blind in one eye. In a panic, he took himself to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, where he was told he had probably suffered a stroke that had blocked the artery leading to his retina. His doctors were perplexed. The patient had no history of vascular disease or heart problems, and had been religiously taking a daily low-dose aspirin for years.
January 22, 2014 |
People's Light & Theatre Company has given us a phenomenal production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts . It has so much resonance for our time that it could almost have been set in 2014 - except for the prominent place in Ghosts of syphilis, as both fact of life and metaphor. There is no effective treatment for syphilis and for its intergenerational legacy of infection - as there is no treatment for the legacy of moral decay. Henrik Ibsen's 19th-century Norway lacked antibiotics to treat Europe's raging bouts of syphilis, a disease that took down many artists, writers, and prominent citizens (Gauguin, Baudelaire, Winston Churchill's dad)
October 2, 2012 |
The American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association has a problem. For 40 years, it has honored members for distinguished achievement with the annual Thomas Parran Award. Parran, who served as surgeon general from 1936 to 1948, was a public-health advocate and led a national campaign to eradicate syphilis. "He was a giant in the field," said Jeanne Marrazzo, an international infectious-disease specialist and immediate past president of the association. But last year, a presidential commission, led by University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, confirmed that Parran's legacy was tainted.
August 23, 2012 |
THE FREE SPEECH COALITION, which is actually a pornography trade group, has called for a voluntary nationwide halt to filming (impossible since most porn is shot by amateurs on smartphones) while performers are tested for . . . Syphilis. The old-timey STD has returned to Los Angeles as West Nile has reared its ugly mosquito-sized head in Dallas. One sex performer has tested positive for syphilis, and the performer's sex partners are being notified, according to Joanne Cachapero , a spokeswoman for the FSC. L.A. County public-health officials are investigating a possible outbreak of the disease.
September 6, 2011
No doubt the infamous Tuskegee Experiment crossed the minds of many Americans with last week's report of a similar study conducted by U.S. medical personnel on unsuspecting Guatemalans. For 40 years, beginning in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, studied nearly 400 poor black men with syphilis in Macon County, Ala. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it, even after penicillin became a standard cure for the disease in 1947.
August 30, 2011 |
ATLANTA - A presidential panel yesterday disclosed shocking new details of U.S. medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study. The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era. "The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second," said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
April 7, 2011 |
Infectious syphilis spiked 45 percent in Philadelphia in 2009. Gonorrhea jumped 36 percent in 2010. Most troubling of all: A new analysis shows that teenagers who have had either one are at 2.5 to 3 times greater risk of contracting far more deadly HIV within the next few years. Teenagers and young adults already make up a quarter of new HIV cases - a statistic that has been steadily rising while numbers for the rest of the city population have started to fall. Mayor Nutter on Thursday will announce the city's biggest new prevention effort in 20 years, beginning with the winning wrapper design for a free new Philadelphia condom - an attempt to make prophylactics fun and, it is hoped, get more people to use them.
March 30, 2011 |
ATLANTA - As U.S. doctors in Guatemala were wrapping up one of the most unethical medical experiments they had ever conducted, a Guatemalan medical official praised the lead researcher as noble, and thanked him profusely. The Guatemalan official's letter from more than 60 years ago is among thousands of documents released Tuesday concerning the doctor who led the study that infected Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis in the 1940s. The records released by the National Archives reveal new information about Guatemalan officials' involvement in the research, though it's not clear they were aware of all the details of what the U.S. doctors were doing.
March 20, 2010 |
A spike in syphilis cases and sharp cuts in state funding to Philadelphia for HIV/AIDS are presenting a challenge to public-health workers tasked with preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Infectious syphilis rose 45 percent in the city last year, with far greater increases among women - a group whose reported cases, while still small, barely registered until recently. "It is very disturbing to see these outbreaks among women," said Jo Valentine, chief of syphilis elimination and STD disparities at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.