On the evening of May 4, 2022, a reading with Dr. Peter Weisenseel took place in the UMCH Lounge. The specialist for skin and venereal diseases at the Dermatologikum in Hamburg read parts of his book “Syphilis & Co. – Ein Arzt klärt auf” (“Syphilis & Co. – A Doctor Clarifies”). In this work, he provides his readers with information on the subject of sexually transmitted diseases in an entertaining, popular-science manner by means of numerous anecdotes from everyday practice.
Initially, Dr. Weisenseel addressed historical aspects, such as how syphilis was addressed in the postwar period and the educational campaigns that have been launched in this area since then. He then began to read from his book and maintained this alternation between reading and contextualizing presentation throughout the event. In addition to placing Hamburg in the context of the topic of STDs – Hamburg is second among the German states in the ranking of infections behind Berlin – he explained, among other points, the connection between the decline in new HIV infections and the rise in syphilis and gonorrhea in the population. Better treatment options for people infected with HIV lower the threshold for having unprotected sexual intercourse, which in turn leads to an increase in other sexually transmitted diseases, Dr. Weisenseel said.
Before the students who attended the event were able to ask the author, dermatologist and venereologist individual questions about his specialty, he gave two volunteers among them the chance to win his book in a quiz. To ensure that no one left empty-handed, the losing student in the quiz received his recently published novel, “Poser tanzen nicht” (“Posers don’t dance”). Afterwards, there was an opportunity to purchase his books at a discounted price, whereby he announced that he would donate the proceeds to those affected by the war in Ukraine.