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LeprosyPast and Present$
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Charlotte A. Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401841

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401841.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

A Future for Leprosy: Clinical and Bioarchaeological Perspectives

A Future for Leprosy: Clinical and Bioarchaeological Perspectives

(p.303) Conclusions A Future for Leprosy: Clinical and Bioarchaeological Perspectives

Charlotte A. Roberts

University Press of Florida

This concluding chapter considers the overall findings of the book, some limitations of the data, and addresses the myths of leprosy outlined at the start of the book. All the ten myths are dismissed. For example, leprosy can be cured using antibiotic therapy, which has been free for all who need it since 1995; leprosy as we know it today is not described in the Bible—this misconception is related to a mistranslation of a Hebrew word; leprosy is a problem for people today. While figures from the World Health Organization indicate that new “cases” of leprosy have shown a steady decline since the late 1990s, the legacy of leprosy (impairment, stigma, isolation) remains; and all people with leprosy were not necessarily segregated from society in the past—the bioarchaeological data show that not everyone with leprosy was segregated and that people likely remained part of their communities. Finally, a future for leprosy in our world is considered, alongside its future study in history and bioarchaeology through an evolutionary perspective that is ethically grounded, not forgetting that using the word “leper” is not advised.

Keywords:   leprosy, antibiotic therapy, World Health Organization

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