Posted by | October 1, 2010 09:59 | Filed under: Top Stories

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will apologize for intentionally infecting patients in Guatemala with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.
About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.

The apology will be directed to Guatemala and to American Hispanics. The experiments, conducted between 1946 and 1948, provided no useful information and records were hidden. It was discovered by Susan Reverby (pictured), professor of Women’s Studies at Wellesley.

The researchers were trying to determine whether the antibiotic penicillin could prevent early syphilis infection, not just cure it, Reverby writes. After the subjects were infected with the syphilis bacteria — through visits with prostitutes who had the disease and direct inoculations — Reverby notes that it is unclear whether they were later cured or given proper treatment.

Reverby made the discovery as part of her work studying the Tuskegee experiments conduced between 1932 and 1972, where hundreds of African-American men were being told they were treated for syphilis but were actually denied treatment. The United States apologized for that shameful episode in 1997.


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By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.