This Day in History — First VD Clinic Opens in London
Cheer up, buddy, you’re certainly not the first guy to get a case of the drips. On this day in 1747, London men everywhere breathed a collective sigh of penicillin-fueled relief, and it wasn’t because they met these terrifying giant condoms, that’s for sure.
STDs may seem like a modern man’s dilemma but they’ve been around for centuries; back then they were just called something different. On January 31, 1747 the London Lock Hospital opened it’s doors as the first venereal disease clinic, focusing on syphilis. We’d like to believe that there will never be a time in our lives where we are ‘focusing on syphilis,’ but we’re glad to know that if it ever happens, London has had our back since the 18th century.
The name of the hospital dates back to the age of leprosy, or, that-nightmare-disease-where-your-limbs-fall-off-of-your-body. The *gag* rags which were used to cover the lesions of a leper were referred to as “locks.” I just got woozy from typing that, so I’m not quite sure why London is so eager to keep this vomit-inducing etymology alive and well, but they do. Today the name lives on at the University College of London Medical School Medicine with the ‘London Lock Hospital Memorial Prize in Sexually Transmitted Diseases,’ a scholaship for final year med students.