Syphilis experiment infected 1 300

2011-05-19 09:26

kalahari.com

  • Guatemala
    A question and answer book on the country of Guatemala Now R401.00
    buy now
Guatemala City - An investigation by Guatemalan authorities has identified about 1 300 people who may have been involved in a 1940s US syphilis experiment, a few of whom may still be living, Vice President Rafael Espada said on Wednesday.

The search of hospital, health department, military and prison records has identified about 1 300 people who were infected with syphilis or gonorrhoea without their knowledge or consent.

"As of today, we have found three or four patients who are still alive," Espada said.

The formal results of the investigation were to have been presented this week, but were delayed when the government had to turn its attention to the massacre of 27 people by suspected drug traffickers in northern Peten province.

No new date has been set for the release of the report.

Records


Records uncovered in the US in 2010 suggested that researchers in the programme in the 1940s attempted to infect about 700 prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis. About 770 test subjects, including soldiers, were exposed to gonorrhoea.

Guatemalan authorities had previously expected to find about 1 500 victims. It was unclear whether some in the study were not successfully infected, some were infected with both diseases, or whether Guatemala was unable to identify them all more than 60 years later.

Patients were treated with penicillin. Among the goals of the research was to see how well differing dosages of penicillin worked against different venereal diseases.

Espada said about 10 American and 12 Guatemalan doctors were involved in the two-year study.

The Guatemalan government plans to run ads in coming months, seeking to identify people who were victims of the research programme.

In October, US President Barack Obama called Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom to apologise. Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement saying "we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health".

The NIH-funded experiment, which ran from 1946 to 1948, was uncovered by a Wellesley College medical historian. It apparently was conducted to test if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent some sexually transmitted infections. The study came up with no useful information and was hidden for decades.

Reparations

The Guatemalan government has not yet taken a position on what kind of reparations should be made in the case.

But Espada, who is a medical doctor himself, noted that an international medical congress had been held in Guatemala around the time of the experiment, and that "the international medical community knew about it".

Espada said the doctors who participated in the study - headed by an American and a Guatemalan doctor, now both dead - "stressed that they wanted very pure races" to experiment on.

Guatemala's population is overwhelmingly Mayan Indian.
- SAPA
Read more on:    guatemala  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.