Control of Venereal Diseases

October 25, 1938

Report Outline
New Campaign Against Venerial Disease
Control Programs in Foreign Countries
Prevalence and Cost of Venereal Diseases
Venereal Disease Control in the United States

New Campaign Against Venerial Disease

Federal-State Control System Set up with under

A nation-wide attack on venereal diseases, with the objective of wiping out syphilis within the next generation and reducing the prevalence of gonorrhea, is now being undertaken by federal, state, and local governments, under the terms of the Venereal Disease Control Act passed by the last Congress. The program, which represents an expansion of work begun in 1935 with funds made available under the Social Security Act, is the first step toward fulfillment of a comprehensive national health plan brought forward by the Roosevelt administration at the National Health Conference at Washington in mid-July. The Venereal Disease Control Act of 1938, sponsored in Congress by Senator LaFollette (Prog., Wis.) and Rep. Bui-winkle (D., N. C.), authorized appropriation of $3,000,000 for the fiscal year 1939, $5,000,000 for 1940, $7,000,000 for 1941, and “such sum as may be deemed necessary” in subsequent years for distribution among the states to aid them in “establishing and maintaining adequate measures for the prevention, treatment, and control of the venereal diseases.” Federal funds must be matched by the states. They are allotted on the basis of population, financial need, and scope of the venereal disease problem in each state.

Favorable Public Response to Parran's Plea for Action

Highly effective methods of diagnosing and treating syphilis have been known to the medical profession for two decades, but with the exception of a short-lived campaign during the World War period the present program represents the first concerted attack on the disease to be made in this country. Earlier application on a large scale of known methods of combating syphilis had been impossible because of the public attitude toward open discussion of the venereal disease problem. Until 1936, efforts to control syphilis were, in the words of Surgeon General Parran of the U. S. Public Health Service, “Scattered sporadic and inadequate.”

The present control program is in large part the result of the public response to Dr. Parran's frank article, “he Next Great Plague to Go,” published in the Survey Graphic in July, 1936, and simultaneously abridged in the Readers Digest.

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Oct. 2009  Rescuing Children
Oct. 26, 2007  Battling HIV/AIDS
Dec. 03, 2004  Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Oct. 13, 2000  Global AIDS Crisis
Dec. 04, 1998  AIDS Update
Apr. 21, 1995  Combating AIDS
Dec. 25, 1992  Women and AIDS
Oct. 06, 1989  Good News and Bad About Aids
Dec. 16, 1988  AIDS Update
Nov. 06, 1987  AIDS Dilemmas
Aug. 09, 1985  AIDS: Spreading Mystery Disease
Jan. 19, 1979  Venereal Disease: Continuing Problem
Jun. 10, 1960  Venereal Disease Control
Jan. 09, 1943  Venereal Disease in the Armed Forces
Oct. 25, 1938  Control of Venereal Diseases
Infectious Diseases