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As you know, Whore School is an adult sex education podcast.

I’ve been producing weekly hour long episodes for almost three years now, and I’ve covered a lot of ground in those three years. On Sunday the 3rd of February, I did another of my deep dives into one of the sexually transmitted illnesses that plague us all. This time, I went all in on Syphilis! You can listen to the entire show on demand any time, or download to take it with you on the road.

Listen to “WS 140 Sexually Transmitted Illness: Syphilis” on Spreaker.

Don’t want to listen to the whole hour?

Here’s the quick overview on Syphilis for you! It’s a bacterial infection that can be completely cured with antibiotics. It’s hard to tell if you have it, because most people don’t experience negative symptoms, and the visible symptoms that do appear tend to clear up on their own eventually. Until you reach the third stage of the illness, it’s most just annoying, but that third stage will get you in the end. Untreated syphilis is very bad, as it can cause permanent nerve damage and blindness, as well as dementia and mental degradation. A simple blood test will tell you if you have it, and a run of antibiotics will clear it right up; you can get tested for all STD/STIs at your local Health Department either for free or for a very low cost.

Interesting or horrifying, you be the judge:

Part of the history of the treatment for syphilis must mention the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which 600 black men were denied any treatment at all for 40 years, as syphilis ravaged their bodies. Even after a cure was found, these men were denied access to it, in a quest to see what syphilis did to people of color, and to justify “treatment programs for blacks.” When a whistleblower finally revealed the truth to the public, outcry prompted changes in the way the US handles human experimentation, and the creation of the Office for Human Research Protections, which even today ensures that all study participants fully consent to all stages of any trial or study.