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Syphilis

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NEWS
August 23, 1999 | by Mark Angeles, Daily News Staff Writer
Syphilis gets its name from the title character of a 16th-century poem, Syphilus, a shepherd. But that's another story. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and is infectious during its primary and secondary stages. Left untreated, it can ultimately lead to the degeneration of bones, the heart and nerve tissue, and organ failure. The disease's primary phase involves the development of a chancre, a painless, oozing sore that is filled with the syphilis bacterium, according to Dr. Lenore Asbel, a medical specialist in Philadelphia's sexually transmitted diseases program.
NEWS
February 8, 1991 | By Michael B. Coakley, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a bid to stem the rampant spread of syphilis among city drug abusers, a public health team went to known crack houses last year to test users of the drug for the disease. Surprisingly, said a report issued yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the team met relatively little resistance. "They were usually pretty well received," said Anne Mellinger, a medical epidemiologist for the Philadelphia Health Department. She said the team did not keep records of the number of people who refused to be tested.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2012 | By Howard Gensler
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.
NEWS
August 23, 1999 | by Mark Angeles, Daily News Staff Writer
The incidence of syphilis is at an all-time low in Philadelphia and most of the nation, thanks to consistent use of condoms, a concerted public health effort - and the increased use of heroin. In what appears to be an ironic twist, the re-emergence of heroin, a highly addictive opiate, has played a part in helping eradicate syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease once common among drug addicts and those who engage in unprotected sex. The reason: Heroin decreases sex drive.
NEWS
April 21, 1989 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state Department of Health backtracked yesterday on its new program requiring defendants in Chester drug cases to undergo syphilis tests, promising an alternative plan that "might not be so counterproductive. " Department spokesman Robert Fisher said his agency asked Delaware County President Judge Francis J. Catania to require the testing of drug defendants in Chester because there has been a serious outbreak of syphilis in the city. Under the program - implemented last week - defendants in drug cases are told during their preliminary arraignment that they will be denied bail unless they present a receipt showing they have undergone a blood analysis for syphilis.
NEWS
May 12, 1995 | By Marjorie Valbrun, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cruising down Jefferson Avenue, Gene White notices the young woman with the swollen belly. "There's one," he says, backing up to park near the corner grocery store she had just entered. White grabs his bag filled with pamphlets and fliers and stands patiently outside. When the woman emerges, he jumps into his delivery. Soon he has her home phone number and permission to visit later in the week. The scene is repeated throughout the day as White navigates through North Philadelphia, looking for bleary-eyed women with distended bellies, looking to score drugs; young pregnant girls with misguided impressions of motherhood; working women too overwhelmed to seek regular prenatal care; and the homeless ones with no means of taking care of themselves, much less a child.
NEWS
February 25, 1995 | By Angie Cannon, Mary Otto and Brigid Schulte, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Clinton's embattled nominee for surgeon general faced a new problem last evening: A conservative group charged that he may have condoned a government experiment in which more than 400 black men were denied treatment for syphilis. The sensational allegation was immediately rejected by the White House, which had been quietly investigating rumors linking its nominee, Henry W. Foster Jr., with the notorious 40-year experiment. And Foster, in a statement released by the White House, categorically denied that he went along with or knew about the secret syphilis experiments before they were made public in 1972 and subsequently halted.
NEWS
April 26, 2015 | By Dr. John Stern, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
January 16, 1986
Norman Podhoretz (Op-ed Page, Jan. 1) suggests, in passing, that homosexuals lack self-control and therefore deserve AIDS. He offers no support for this opinion, though his diction is the written equivalent of screaming. Mr. Podhoretz's attitudes toward same-sexualists are well known; in fact he is famous for them. You have helped make them famous. I don't understand why you and the other people who print his "work" find his assertions interesting. You published an article some years ago about federal experiments on - with no treatment of - blacks with syphilis in an Alabama town in the 1930s.
NEWS
January 23, 1989 | By Susan FitzGerald, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's 7:30 in the morning, but already a line is forming outside the city's sexually transmitted disease clinic. By the time a security guard unlocks the door at 8, 19 men and two women are waiting to get treatment for syphilis, gonorrhea and other venereal diseases at the center at Broad and Lombard Streets. The line outside the clinic - which on some days swells to 40 people or more by starting time - reflects a health problem that is growing to epidemic proportions in Philadelphia.
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NEWS
April 26, 2015 | By Dr. John Stern, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
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)
NEWS
October 2, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2012 | By Howard Gensler
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
August 30, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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.
NEWS
April 7, 2011 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 30, 2011 | By Mike Stobbe, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
March 20, 2010 | By Don Sapatkin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
March 20, 2010 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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