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7 Famous People With Syphilis, Gonorrhea, or Other STDs

7 Famous People With Syphilis, Gonorrhea, or Other STDs

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a spirochete called Treponema pallidum.

About 60% of cases affect men who have sex with men or with both women and men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2016, a total of 27,814 cases of syphilis were reported in the US.

You face an increased risk of acquiring this infection if you:

  • are infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS;
  • are a man who has sex with men;
  • have sex with multiple partners;
  • engage in unprotected sex – this means having oral, anal, or vaginal sex without a condom.

Gonorrhea

It is a sexually transmitted disease that is primarily transmitted through oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse. Gonorrhea can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.

In 2016, a total of 468,514 cases were reported in the United States. If left untreated, it can result in skin sores, arthritis, and brain or heart infection.

The bacterium responsible for causing this STD is called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Common symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • bleeding between periods;
  • pain when urinating;
  • a thick green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina.

Risk factors include:

  • having a sexual partner who is infected with gonorrhea;
  • being sexually active and under 25 years old;
  • having human immunodeficiency virus;
  • being a man who has sex with men;
  • having sex with new or multiple sex partners;
  • engaging in unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

Chlamydia

It is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States.

Chlamydia is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect both women and men.

Every year there were over 1.5 million cases of chlamydia in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • painful sexual intercourse in women (dyspareunia);
  • pain in the testicles;
  • pain in the lower abdomen;
  • yellow or green discharge from the vagina or penis;
  • burning sensation during urination.

Risk factors include:

  • men having sex with men;
  • excessive alcohol or illegal drug use;
  • a history of chlamydia or other STIs;
  • incorrect and inconsistent condom use;
  • multiple or frequent changes in sex partners.

Herpes

It is an infection that is caused by a virus, either herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) or herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

You can get it from having anal, vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has it.

An estimated 16% of people between the ages of 14 and 49 have this sexually transmitted disease.

Symptoms for both females and males include the following:

  • fever;
  • body aches;
  • headaches;
  • swollen lymph glands;
  • a crust may appear over the sores within seven days of the outbreak;
  • the infected site commonly starts to itch before the actual appearance of blisters;
  • blisters may appear in the mouth and on your face, lips.

Risk factors include:

  • sex at an early age;
  • HIV infection;
  • prior sexually transmitted infections;
  • not using a condom;
  • frequent changes in sex partners;
  • sex with a person who has herpes.

List of Famous People With Syphilis, Gonorrhea, or Other STDs:

1) Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte

He was born on August 15, 1769, in the city of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica.

Napoleon was a brilliant military commander and conquered much of Europe.

Bonaparte suffered from syphilis and most likely died due to the consumption of arsenic – that was used for the treatment of syphilis during that time.

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2) John F. Kennedy

He was the 35th president of the United States and was America’s second youngest elected president.

Kennedy Jr.’s childhood medical records show he contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a teenager, the New York Times reports.

3) Al Capone

He was the most famous American gangster (died January 25, 1947, Palm Island, Florida) who dominated organized crime in Chicago from 1925 to 1931.

Al Capone contracted syphilis as a young man and managed to keep the sexually transmitted disease at bay before being arrested for tax evasion.

4) Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes, a film director and aviator, was born on December 24, 1905, in Houston.

At some point during his life, Howard had become the richest man in the world.

What is perhaps not as well known about Howard is that he had contracted syphilis as a young man.

5) Adolf Hitler

The German dictator led the extreme nationalist and racist Nazi party and served as chancellor-president of Germany from 1933 to 1945.

An encounter with a Jewish prostitute in Vienna in 1908 may have given him syphilis.

6) James Ewell Stuart

He was a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War and an American soldier from Virginia.

According to historians, James Ewell Stuart contracted a sexually transmitted disease while at West Point.

7) John Herbert Dillinger

John Dillinger (died July 22, 1934, Chicago, Illinois) was an American criminal who was the most famous bank robber in United States history.

Dillinger had gonorrhea.

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm
https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/23/5/550/571088

Health Guide's Editorial

Health Guide Net provides qualitative and informative articles on health, diet, and beauty.

2 comments

  • I’m a stickler for facts, so please bear with me. I don’t think there is any real proof that Howard Hughes had syphilis. Granted, he was promiscuous, but he also had a germ phobia. He ended up with extensive brain damage caused by head injuries sustained in numerous plane crashes and car accidents. Napoleon, his wife Josephine, and his sister Pauline probably did have syphilis, but Napoleon did not really die of arsenic poisoning. That false rumor started after some arsenic allegedly was found in his hair in 1961, but the autopsy performed at his death showed no signs of arsenic poisoning. According to his autopsy, as well as excellent research done recently, he died of advanced gastric cancer. He had a huge mass at least 10 cm long (definitely too large to have been benign) in his stomach, a large ulcerated lesion on his stomach, and a smaller lesion that had penetrated the wall of the stomach and spread to the liver. Dark brown material with the appearance of coffee grounds in his stomach indicated gastrointestinal bleeding, the most probable immediate cause of death. The cancer was likely caused by his long history of ulcers, i.e., H. pylori gastritis.