London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Greenwich 1971

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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New Cases of Residents Treated During 1971(as given in returns from the undermentioned Centres)

Treatment CentreSyphilisGonorrhoeaOther Genital InfectionsOther ConditionsTOTALS
Greenwich District Hospital Miller Wing:1060203125398
Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital:351151185390
St. John's Hospital:6283670
London Hospital:2212144
Middlesex Hospital:166046113
St. Bartholomew's Hospital:231841
King's College Hospital:821938
St. Thomas's Hospital:_9542689
Westminster Hospital:4321248
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Undoubtedly standards of behaviour are personal matters but
those of public health are of general concern. It would seem that
the time has come for society to weigh the advantages of the
new-found "freedom" and of changing moral attitudes against
the decline in the stability of family life and all the complex
emotional relationships upon which it depends and, in this particular instance, the resultant increase in severe illness, anxiety
neurosis, sterility and unhappiness. However, whether sexual
freedom is approved or not, provision must be made for control
of its side effects.
Dissemination of venereal disease depends upon two major factors—sexual promiscuity and a reservoir of infected persons.
Hitherto, prostitution had been considered to be the predominant
method of spread but, in recent years, it has contributed little to
the increased infections. In a promiscuous society the disease is
much more likely to be caught from acquaintances free of charge.
It is a fact that venereal disease is being propagated at a faster
rate than the accumulation of associated medical knowledge
which renders its management that much more difficult. For its
control there are those who consider the problem one of infectious disease and others as one socially oriented and concerning
personal relationships, i.e. a matter for public health and medical
measures or health education and social action. Without doubt,
a combination of both will be necessary.
Without question, in a sexually continent society management
of venereal disease would be easy but an inability to control this

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