The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Its Implications for the 21st Century

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Deny Injections

I never understood how they were able to find 399 black men who were unknowingly infected with syphilis (specifically) to participate in the experiment unless they induced the virus somehow. I can understand why they would deny that responsibility, but it's not clear how they acquired their test subjects.

What I also find interesting is that it was only a few years later when the HIV/AIDS epidemic surfaced out of nowhere.

Kobe more than 4 years ago

Deny Injections

They misled these men by telling them that they had "Bad Blood". This term was widely used in the early 1900's meaning that you were sick and needed to see a doctor.

Horton more than 3 years ago

comments by purple stater

It would have been helpful if information about patient and control identification had been provided. Regarding the statement "it was only a few years later", this study was 1932, awareness of HIV in the US was more than 40 years later, although retrospectively it had appeared occasionally in Africa in a few cases earlier. Early US cases were found in gay men who had vacationed in Haiti. Haiti had provided soldiers for action in Africa, if I remember correctly. I think I read this almost 40 years ago in "The Band Played On."

Lee Aikin 39 days ago

Tuskegee Study timeline

The Tuskegee Study started in 1932 but didn't end until 1972, 40 years later. 39 days ago

Unethical Situation

The syphilis study should have been stopped earlier, and it was obvious that the doctors knew what they were doing. Penicillin was available to treat the symptoms of syphilis, but of course the treatment was withheld. I'm glad that the story, as well as the unethical treatment of the victims was exposed. $10 million dollars wasn't enough to undo the damage that was caused.

LaTrice more than 5 years ago

virus or bacteria

Syphilis is caused by a Bacterium called Treponema Palidum, not a virus.

devon more than 6 years ago


Yes, the mention of a virus is a quote from another source about a misconception about the study. So, the idea that it is caused by a virus is a misconcepton, as well as the idea that the men were injected with such a "virus." more than 6 years ago

Unethical & Social injustice

This is very sad, what about their children ? Were they protected from getting infected with the bacteria where are they and how are they?
It's common sense why HIV is prevelant in Africa.

Gilbert more than 4 years ago

Ethical research

Excellent summary of this unethical research and social injustice.

Dr. V more than 6 years ago

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