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Tuskegee Study

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The Tuskegee Study of untreated syphilis in the African American male was conducted between 1932 and 1972. It was the longest nontherapeutic study conducted on humans in the history of medicine. When the numerous breaches of ethical behavior by researchers conducting the Tuskegee Study became known, public outcry was so great that the protection of the rights of participants in medical research were made a priority through legislation and administration.

The Tuskegee Study, conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service, included 616 participants (412 infected with syphilis and 204 controls). The study participants were low-income African American males in Macon County, Alabama, a poor community with a high prevalence of the disease. The purpose of the study was to assess the course of untreated syphilis in ...

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