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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

versión On-line ISSN 1561-3003


BERDASQUERA CORCHO, Denis; LAZO ALVAREZ, Miguel Ángel; GALINDO SANTANA, Belkys María  y  GALA GONZALEZ, Angela. Syphilis: past and present. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2004, vol.42, n.2. ISSN 1561-3003.

Syphilis is one of the sexually transmitted infections that surpassed only by HIV/AIDS has had devastating effects for humanity and it is still a health problem nowadays. In this paper, a documental review of the topic is made, and the historical evolution of the disease is exposed, starting from 2 views that try to give a scientific explanation: the first states that syphilis originated itself in the Americas and that it was later carried by the Spanish conquerors to the European continent; whereas the other asserts that syphilis had a common origin in Europe, the Near East and Africa. Regardless its origin, it caused great epidemics and during the XV and XVI centuries 15 % of the European population suffered from it and thousands of people died because of it. From the XX century on, a series of important discoveries took place in this sense, such as the treatment of the disease, and it was thought that it would not be a health problem any longer; however, it is still a scourge for humanity.

Palabras clave : Syphilis; historical background; evolution; international situation.

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