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J Infect Dis. 1996 Oct;174 Suppl 2:S223-9.

Successful eradication of sexually transmitted diseases in the People's Republic of China: implications for the 21st century.

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Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


The global control of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) represents a daunting task, and there have been very few examples of success. The scope of the STD problem in China before the formation of the People's Republic and the effects of a governmental STD control program were reviewed. In major cities, 10% of the population had syphilis, reaching 50% prevalence in some rural minorities. By 1964, STDs in China were virtually eliminated through a program that destigmatized STDs, provided an infrastructure for case finding and therapy, and eliminated prostitution. The People's Republic of China demonstrated the possibility of eliminating STDs, at least for some period of time. Although the Chinese approach may not be ideal for Western democracies, understanding some features of the Chinese program may help in designing a strategy for the eradication of human immunodeficiency virus when or if treatment becomes available.

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