US Study Gave Syphilis To Black Farmers (Intentionally)

“We have no further interest in these patients until they die.” —Tuskegee Syphilis Study Doctor

In a Nutshell

In 1932, the United States began a study into the effects of syphilis in black men. In 1940, a cure was discovered. Rather than tell their patients, the study doctors kept it a secret, resulting in the deaths of hundreds.

The Whole Bushel

Eighty-one years ago, US doctors started a long-term experiment to gain much-needed insight into syphilis. Back in 1932, the disease was an unstoppable killer, devastating communities and killing millions each year. The Tuskegee Study recruited 399 infected black men in return for free healthcare. It became an ethical minefield almost immediately.

From the beginning, the nature of their illness was kept from the patients. They were told they had “bad blood” and given placebos to combat it. The reason for this is grim: the researchers were less interested in curing the men and more interested in simply watching them die. So when penicillin was found to cure syphilis in the early ’40s, the results were kept from the study participants.

The result was regular people dying from a painful, treatable illness. When some doctors tried to question the ethics of this, they were told America needed the corpses for autopsy. The program had to continue until every single patient had died—even as the participants found themselves disfigured or driven mad by the infection.

It wasn’t until 1972 that the experiment was made public, by which point the families of dozens of patients had been infected. In response to the backlash, the government publicly apologized and paid $9 million in compensation. But by then the damage had been done. Tuskegee was nothing short of an almighty screw-up, one that set back race relations by decades.

Show Me The Proof

Families Emerge As Silent Victims Of Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
Studies Show ‘Dark Chapter’ Of Medical Research
Bad Blood In Tuskegee

  • ConnorHaberland

    Absolutely disgusting. I already knew about this little known event in the pitfalls of history, but what I did not know was the meager settlement the government dished out. Only 9 million?

  • asianchick

    Those fuckers should suffer!!!

  • weareallhuman

    ugh….my faith in humanity just dropped 2 notches

  • cyberpal

    I already knew that there are worse governments than that of Hitler.

    • bigc

      They never gave anyone syphillis. Read the article or any other scholarly article about what happened. The title is misleading and based on an urban legend in the black community. How can you morally equate this with Hitler?

      • cyberpal

        How bout the guatemala case?

  • pepper

    Is it just me or is this site boring as fuck? Most of this shit has been strenuously covered on listverse……

    • TheLesserWeevil

      I’ve been reading Listverse almost daily for about three years at this stage and I haven’t seen a lot of the content on this site before. I enjoy visiting it after reading the lists on Listverse, it’s a nice dessert :).

      • J_Doe5686

        Same here!

  • alan smithee

    Tuskegee is my hometown, and I grew up knowing a lot of those poor men. Very, very sad.

  • truth

    The Title is blatantly false and is refuted by your own article.

    ” The Tuskegee Study recruited 399 infected black men in return for free healthcare”

    These events were atrocious and should never be forgotten, but lying about them only gives credence to those who would deny them, truth is are ally.

  • truth

    The Title is blatantly false and is refuted by your own article.

    ” The Tuskegee Study recruited 399 infected black men in return for free healthcare”

    These events were atrocious and should never be forgotten, but lying
    about them only gives credence to those who would deny them, truth is
    our ally.

  • Exiled Phoenix

    while I don’t dispute this type of things advance our knowledge. what do you expect from the dominant race. Things like this happen until your race is in a position to exact similar experiments. Abominable? yes. But not unexpected.

    • cyberpal

      That sounds rather dumb

      • Exiled Phoenix

        You sound rather uninformed.

  • Angelus

    Title is extremely misleading – the men already had syphilis. They just didn’t tell them, and didn’t treat them, to study what happened. They did not give them syphilis on purpose.

  • Marozia

    We know this already. The government’s attempts to be rid of what Henry Kissinger calls “useless eaters”.

  • J_Doe5686

    They should have throw those “scientist” in jail. Money doesn’t buy happiness . . . or bring people back from dead.

  • P5ychoRaz

    Wouldn’t be surprised if in 20 years a similar AIDS story comes out… but I may read too many conspiracy lists… I’m lookin at you LV

  • bigc

    They NEVER GAVE ANYONE syphillis. I am so tired of this lie. Read your own article and realize that the monitored people who already had it. They told them they had ”bad blood”. It was appallingly unethical that they didn’t provide them with treament but no one was infected! Stories like this are where so much of the hysteria in black community about AIDS is rooted.