A Letter From The Publisher: Aug. 2, 1982

More than simply a medical story, herpes, the venereal disease for which there is no cure to date, is a subject of staggering dimensions. Its spread throughout the U.S. is a serious, wholly unanticipated consequence of the sexual revolution. The extent to which this so-called social disease has infected, in many more ways than are obvious, the life of a growing number of Americans became apparent when TIME'S bureaus were asked to make an initial assessment of the importance of the story.

Their responses were blunt. As Atlanta Bureau Reporter Joyce Leviton discovered,...

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