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Jean Alfred Fournier, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Paris and Director of the internationally famous venereal hospital at the Hospital of St Louis, wrote extensively on the clinical and social aspects of this subject. Fournier introduced the concept of “parasyphilis” (tabes dorsalis and general paresis) and was the first to point out the relation of syphilis to these disorders. He also emphasised the importance of congenital syphilitic disease and wrote on its social aspects (Syphilis et Marriage1890). In 1901 he formed the Society for Moral and Sanitary Prophylaxis which carried on an educational programme to control venereal diseases in France. He also had a view about the cause of epilepsy and wrote “one of the nervous afflictions which onanism occasions most frequently is epilepsy.... There are very few physicians who have not observed where it has been produced, maintained or aggravated by the practice of this pernicious habit”.
In 1946 France issued a stamp to raise funds for the fight against venereal disease (Stanley Gibbons 960, Scott B201).
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