Male Enhancement Group - Blog
Dr. Bernfeld has a wit appropriate to his mission, which is expressed in four terse case reports. There are cases of false diagnosis, two of gonorrhea and one of syphilis. In one the patient's wife had left him, although she later returned when the facts were established. The fourth case records an explosion between husband and wife over the husband's conclusion that trichomonads found in the wife's vagina implied unfaithfulness. Dr. Bernfeld, as though proving that Brieux's idea of a doctor is still viable, mentions that:
“I saw both patients in the clinic together for a whole hour, to let him air his suspicions and recriminations, and to persuade him that the findings did not necessarily prove her unfaithfulness.”
And he ends the paper by quoting from the United Kingdom statute of 1916:
"Venereal disease" means syphilis, gonorrhea, and soft chancre. Let me remind you, first, that we have been able to make clear distinctions between these (and other) diseases only within the past century or less. Many of the names we use go back much further; but names of diseases in their early uses often meant something other than what they mean today. Celsus (25 B.C. 50 A.D.) described what was probably soft chancre or chancroid; and we know that gonorrhea goes back a good deal further; syphilis may be even more ancient. But as late as the mid-eighteenth century it was possible for Astruc to lump them all together in a single "venereal disease." Another monument to confusion is the adjective "Hunterian" to describe the "hard" chancre of syphilis. John Hunter, an eighteenth century English practitioner, did in fact distinguish the chancre of syphilis from the "soft" chancre of Celsus. But in his time the germ theory had not yet been born, and not enough was known to do a decent experiment; just the same it was an age of inoculations. Hunter actually thought he proved that syphilis and gonorrhea were the same by deliberately inoculating his own penis with pus from a man known to have gonorrhea but who had an unsuspected syphilis as well. This was in 1767. The intrepid investigator was rewarded by developing both diseases, and could announce triumphantly that "matter from a gonorrhea will produce chancres." The separation of gonorrhea from syphilis is usually credited to Philippe Ricord in 1837. Ricord was a French doctor born in Baltimore. But even earlier Benjamin,. Bell Bell (1749-1806) in Edinburgh and Edouard Bosquillon (744 1814) in France seem to have done as much; and in l812 Jean Francios Hernandez was able to inoculate convicts at Toulon with gonorrhea without producing syphilis. Such experiments were not as convincing in their day as they seem to be now, with the hindsight of the germ theory of Pasteur and Koch, a product of the end of the nineteenth century. Neither the cause nor the specificity of gonorrhea could be known with assurance until 1879, when Albert Neisser (1855 1916) discovered the gonococcus. The bacillus of chancroid dates from 1889. The agents of both granuloma inguinale — the odd member on the way out of the minor VD group and syphilis were found in 1905. LGV, although distinguished clinically as early as 1786 (again by John Hunter) was not clearly recognized as a venereal disease until 1912 13 and yielded up its causative agent only in 1932.
That these five diseases are widely different is underlined by the great disparity among their causative microbes. We have a roughly spherical coccus for gonorrhea and a corkscrew shaped spirochete for syphilis. For chancroid and granuloma, respectively, there are two easily distinguished rod shaped bacilli. The agent of LGV was at first thought to be a virus but is now classified among the marginal or atypical bacteria, partly because it is sensitive to penicillin and other antibiotics, which have no effect on viruses.
- Syphilis Less Common Than Gonorrhea
- Venereal Disease and NOT Venereal Disease Part I
- Syphilis and the Treponematoses
- The Possibility of a Vaccine for Syphilis Part I
- From Bible to Venereal Diseases Part I