ABOUT THIS BOOK
"An eye for colorful vignettes and anecdotes. On target! She recognizes
the importance of her subject." -- Thomas N. Bonner, author of To
the Ends of the Earth: Women's Search for Education in Medicine
Those struggling to deal with the AIDS epidemic might learn valuable
lessons from the earlier struggle of the U.S. to deal with syphilis. Here,
Suzanne Poirier tells the story of the Chicago Syphilis Control Program
launched in 1937 by the Chicago Board of Health and the U.S. Public Health
Service and severely limited from the start because of the refusal of
government, the press, and the public to confront directly the issues
underlying the problem.
Poirier's narrative is memorable for its vivid scenes, colorful characters
that include Chicago's "clap doctor," Dr. Ben Reitman, and its
account of the heated debate that surrounded the effort. In an epilogue,
the author discusses similarities between current efforts against AIDS
and the handling and politics of the syphilis problem in the late 1930s.