One of the earliest references to syphilis are found in "Bhavaprakasha", a mid 16th century text.
In that age and for a long time after that, syphilis was known as Firangi / Firanga ( Franks/ Europeans ) roga ( disease )
the focus shifted to leading causes of morbidity.
For much of 2nd half of 19th century, STDs were 2nd only to Malaria among causes for hospitalisation.
Italy- 104, France- 44, Germany- 27 and British soldiers in England- 212
The thread is based on David Arnold's article "Sexually transmitted diseases in nineteenth and twentieth century India" (1993)