Conspiracy theorists, fire up your mimeograph machines!
Susan Reverby, a women's studies professor at Wellesley College, published a paper detailing the joint research program between the U.S. and Guatemalan governments. From 1946-1948, doctors enabled men in prison to be infected with syphilis by allowing prostitutes carrying the disease to visit them. From there, they studied inoculation techniques. The tests, which also involved mental hospital patients, involved nearly 700 subjects, according to the study.
Without detailing the nature of the research, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a joint statement apologizing for the program. They said they would launch an investigation into the "specifics" of the study.
"The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical," they said. "Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health.