5 People From History You Won’t Believe Had an STD

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Stop the presses! Real people get STDs! If you think it’s hard to imagine finding confidential STD testing now, think about how difficult it is when you’re, say, the president of the United States. Long before free STD testing centers, there were a lot of free STDs. Here are some historical figures that probably wished they lived in a time with home STD testing. (Or any STD testing kits, really.)

Abraham Lincoln – Forever remembered as one of America’s best presidents, poor honest Abe had an honestly fierce case of syphilis. His wife, naturally, had it as well, and the couple unfortunately lost more than a few children to the disease.

Beethoven – He may have been a brilliant artist, but even Beethoven made mistakes. Like catching syphilis. His doctor even asserted that the disease may have been the reason why the pianist lost his hearing in the first place.

John F Kennedy – While we all knew that JFK had a fairly promiscuous agenda, not everyone knows that he was notorious for spreading STD’s. The exact number is unconfirmed, but actor David Niven has implied heavily that crabs was one of them. How did he know? Because JFK gave it to his wife.

Adolf Hitler – Obviously, Hitler was a raving madman. But that could have been (partially) attributed to his raving case of syphilis. Constant itching, palsy, stomach pain and chronic insomnia are all symptoms of the disease that Hitler exhibited, according to his chosen physician. (Who, shocker, was a specialist in syphilis.)

Henry VIII – While I’m sure he wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of STD testing, King Henry sure could have used it. He passed, you guessed it, syphilis, to almost all of his children, and some of them didn’t survive. At least today’s celebrity children go get their own syphilis like grown-ups. (Kim.)

If you don’t want to reminisce fondly on your infected years, take the time to find free STD testing centers, or a walk in health clinic, and get tested today. Better safe than syphilis.

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