Confidential Nature of Venereal Disease Information, 82d Airborne Division
FROM: CG, 82D ABN DIV SAN ISIDRO DOM REP
CO, 1ST BDE
CO, 2D BDE
CO, 3D BDE
CO, SPT CMD
CO, DIV ARTY
CO, 1/17 CAV
CO, AVN BN
CO, SIG BN
CO, ENG BN
CO, DIV HQ CO
ALL STAFF SECTIONS
XVIII ABN CORPS: SURG
CO, 15TH FH
SURG, 5TH LOG CMD
UNCLASS Cite AJDSU 781 DR
SUBJECT: Confidential Nature of Venereal Disease Information
1. Unit surgeons will not disclose names of individuals who have been treated for suspected venereal disease to their commanders or to other non-medical or unauthorized personnel.
2. Revealing such information violates privileged communication between doctor and patient and is specifically prohibited by current Army Regulations and by Div Reg 40-1.
3. Past experience has shown that the threat of command pressure on individuals treated for V.D. often results in the following:
a. Troopers turning to quacks, pharmacists, etc., for "treatment" (it is a known fact that anyone can obtain a penicillin "shot" for
50¢ at any drug store in Santo Domingo.) In such an eventuality, inadequate treatment is a hazard - relieving symptoms, but not a curative dose. The greater danger is that syphilis may be masked, but not cured by small doses of antibiotics. "Treatment" by unauthorized facilities also includes risk of unsterile techniques with increased chances of infections, serum hepatitis, etc., and possible serious or even fatal drug reactions.
b. Patients with possible V.D. not being seen or recorded or followed up by a doctor; thus possibility of spreading the disease to contacts after return to CONUS.
c. Possible thefts of drugs - "no sweat pills" - obtained illegitimately through non-medical channels, with near certainty of inadequate treatment and consequences noted in a. and b. above (it is a known fact that some of the Troops are already obtaining "no-sweat" pills from unauthorized sources.)
d. Invalid medical statistics.
e. Inability to trace down and treat contacts.
f. Breakdown of the doctor - patient relationship with reluctance and distrust on the part of the patient and inability to obtain a reliable history due to patient's fear that the doctor will "squeal" on him.
g. Last and most important is the possibility that an outbreak of syphilis might be "driven underground" and eventually spread to others after return to CONUS.
4. There are no laboratory facilities currently available to the US Army in the Dominican Republic for confirmation of V.D.; therefore all patients thus far have been treated for V.D. presumptively, on a clinical basis and without lab "proof" of the disease.
5. Unit surgeons will continue to provide information of statistical nature to their commanders as required.
|THOMAS M. ALLEN
Ass't Div Surgeon
|ROLAND W EISENBARTH