Treatment in the 1930s consisted primarily of doses of arsenic and mercury.Of the 600 original participants in the study, one third showed no signs having syphilis; the others had the disease.
The AP___During a 40-year federal experiment, a group of syphilis victims was denied proper medical treatment for their disease. The experiment, conducted by the PHS, was designed to determine through autopsies what damage untreated syphilis does to the human body. He said he was launching an investigation immediately.
Some participants died as a result, but survivors now are getting whatever aid is possible, the U. Of about 600 Alabama black men who originally took part in the study, 200 or so were allowed to suffer the disease and its side effects without treatment, even after penicillin was discovered as a cure for syphilis.
If left untreated it can cause blindness, deafness, deterioration of bones, teeth and the central nervous system, insanity, heart disease and death.
In 1969, the PHS’ Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, which has been in charge of the Tuskegee Study, reviewed records of 276 syphilitics, both treated and untreated, who participated in the experiment.
The men were offered what most Negroes could only dream of in terms of medical care and survivors insurance.
They were enticed and enrolled in the study with incentives including: medical exams, rides to and from the clinics, meals on examination days, free treatment for minor ailments and guarantees that provisions would be made after their deaths in terms of burial stipends paid to their survivors.It really puzzles me.”Because of their age, the CDC cannot now treat the 74 survivors of the Tuskegee Study for syphilis, Dr. Possible ill side effects of massive penicillin therapy constitute too great a risk to the individuals, particularly those whose syphilitic condition is dormant.However, he added, there was a point when the men could have been treated with some measure of success.“The most critical moral issue about this experiment arises in the post-war era, the years after the end of World War II, when penicillin became widely available.“I know some were treated with penicillin for other disease and then dropped from the program because the drug had some positive effect on the primary disease syphilis.The intent of the study was to record the natural history of syphilis in Blacks.The study was called the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male." When the study was initiated there were no proven treatments for the disease.WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On July 25, 1972, Associated Press reporter Jean Heller broke news that rocked the American medical establishment.The federal government, she reported, had let hundreds of black men in rural Alabama go untreated for syphilis for 40 years for research purposes.Treatment then probably could have saved or helped many of the experiment participants, PHS officials say.They contend that survivors of the experiment are now too old to treat for syphilis, but add that PHS doctors are giving the men thorough physical examinations every two years and are treating them for whatever other ailments and diseases they have developed.A public outcry ensued, and the “Tuskegee Syphilis Study” ended three months later.The men filed a lawsuit that resulted in a million settlement, and then-President Bill Clinton formally apologized years later.