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Chicago's war on syphilis, 1937-40 : the Times, the Trib, and the Clap Doctor : with an epilogue on issues and attitudes in the time of AIDS

Author: Suzanne Poirier
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
"Chicago's War on Syphilis, 1937-1940, offers valuable lessons to those struggling to deal with today's AIDS epidemic."--BOOK JACKET. "The Chicago Tribune, one of the first newspapers to discuss the disease, followed daily developments, including a new pre-marital testing law, court-ordered screening of selected individuals, creation of testing stations in city parks, and the steadily rising count of those tested  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Ben L Reitman; Ben L Reitman; Ben L Reitman
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Suzanne Poirier
ISBN: 0252021479 9780252021473
OCLC Number: 30623426
Description: x, 271 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Suzanne Poirier.

Abstract:

"Chicago's War on Syphilis, 1937-1940, offers valuable lessons to those struggling to deal with today's AIDS epidemic."--BOOK JACKET. "The Chicago Tribune, one of the first newspapers to discuss the disease, followed daily developments, including a new pre-marital testing law, court-ordered screening of selected individuals, creation of testing stations in city parks, and the steadily rising count of those tested for it."--BOOK JACKET. "The time was the late 1930s, however, and the disease was syphilis."--BOOK JACKET. "The Chicago Syphilis Control Program was launched in 1937, an important part of the U.S. Public Health Service's nationwide campaign to find, treat, and eradicate syphilis. Though a large number of cases were identified - and many treated - the program didn't reach its goals. Suzanne Poirier shows how the effort was limited from the start because of the refusal of the government, press, and public to directly confront the issues behind the problem."--BOOK JACKET. "Poirier's narrative is memorable for its vivid scenes, colorful characters that include Chicago's "clap doctor," Ben Reitman, and its account of the heated debate that surrounded the effort. All are supported by careful research into official documents of the Chicago Syphilis Control Program, Reitman's personal papers, and the Tribune's coverage."--BOOK JACKET. "What were the issues? Using Chicago as a microcosm for the nation, Poirier shows that they included mandatory testing, confidentiality, testing and insurance, sex education in the schools, isolation and quarantine of "non-compliant" infected people, interpretation and limitations of V.D. tests, the disease's relation to class and race, collection and interpretation of statistics, prevention of the disease by mechanical or chemical means versus sexual abstinence, and the role of moral judgment in fighting venereal disease and treating its victims."--BOOK JACKET. "In her epilogue, Poirier discusses similarities between current efforts against AIDS and the handling and politics of the syphilis problem in the late 1930s. She also explores similarities among the positions of people as diverse as Reitman, the writer and AIDS activist Larry Kramer, and former U.S. surgeons general Thomas Parran and C. Everett Koop."--BOOK JACKET.

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