BBC
October 1, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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The United States government has apologized for infecting hundreds of people in Guatemala with gonorrhoea and syphilis as part of medical tests more than 60 years ago.

Many of the infected were mentally ill patients and prisoners who did not give their consent.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the research as unethical and reprehensible.

At the time, the US wanted to test vaccines against venereal diseases.

Many of the infected patients were never given adequate treatment.

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Syphilis can cause heart problems, blindness, mental illness and even death.

Evidence of the programme was unearthed by Prof Susan Reverby at Wellesley College. She says the Guatemalan government gave permission for the tests.

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