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Research Study in 1946-1948 Intentionally Infected Guatemalans STDS 

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Old 10-02-2010, 12:00 AM
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Research Study in 1946-1948 Intentionally Infected Guatemalans STDS

The United States apologized Friday for a 1946-1948 research study in which people in Guatemala were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

A statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the action "reprehensible."
Asked whether Guatemala was planning to take legal action, Colom said, "That's part of the work of the commission."

"We reject these types of actions, obviously," said Guatemala presidential spokesman Ronaldo Robles. "We know that this took place some time ago, but this is unacceptable and we recognize the apology from Secretary Clinton."

The scientific investigation, called the U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948, aimed at determining the effectiveness of penicillin in treating or preventing syphilis after subjects were exposed to the disease. Gonorrhea and chancres were also studied. Penicillin was a relatively new drug at the time.

The tests were carried out on female commercial sex workers, prisoners in the national penitentiary, patients in the national mental hospital and soldiers. According to the study, more than 1,600 people were infected: 696 with syphilis, 772 with gonorrhea and 142 with chancres.

The study came to light recently when Wellesley College researcher Susan Reverby found the archived but unpublished notes from the project as she was researching a similar study that was conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama. That study included nearly 400 poor African-American men with preexisting syphilis whose disease was allowed to progress without treatment. Researchers did not infect the subjects, but they did not tell them they had the disease either.

The Tuskegee study was done under the direction of Dr. John C. Cutler, a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer who died in 2003.

"I was doing what historians do," said Reverby, a professor of the history of ideas and women and gender issues, who has written a book on the Tuskegee study. She went to the University of Pittsburgh, where Cutler had taught, and searched through an archive of his papers.

"There was nothing on Tuskeegee in the papers, but there was this report of the Guatemala study," she told CNN in a telephone interview. "I started to read, and I almost fell off my chair."

She found that Cutler also led the research in Guatemala. It was carried out there, in part, she said, because prostitution was legal and prisoners were allowed to bring prostitutes in for sex.



"We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices," the joint statement said. "The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala."

President Barack Obama called his Guatemalan counterpart Friday "offering profound apologies and asking pardon for the deeds of the 1940s," President Alvaro Colom told CNN en Espanol in a telephone interview from Guatemala City.

"Though it happened 64 years ago, it really is a profound violation of human rights," said Colom, who said the report took him by surprise.

Clinton called him on Thursday, he said. "She too offered her apologies," he said, adding that she told him she was ashamed the United States had been involved in the matter.

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Old 10-02-2010, 05:14 AM
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Re: Research Study in 1946-1948 Intentionally Infected Guatemalans STDS

Makes me wonder about the true origin of AIDS.

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:22 AM
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:27 PM
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Re: Research Study in 1946-1948 Intentionally Infected Guatemalans STDS

I have read of other "experimental" programs run by US Research facilities right here in the US, so it does not surprise me that people from other countries are used. If a government would condone using it's own countrymen, then foreigners would matter even less.

I am not by any means condemning research, but it should be done with a care for human life....or animal life, for that matter.

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