#Perspective: If you were born prior to 1972, (which means your parents), this happened during your life time. Do you think it was the FIRST, the ONLY or the LAST, type of experiment of this nature?
(On July 25, 1972, Jean Heller of the Associated Press broke the story that uncovered the truth about the study.)
Where the Study Took Place
The study took place in Macon County, Alabama, the county seat of Tuskegee referred to as the "Black Belt" because of its rich soil and vast number of black sharecroppers who were the economic backbone of the region. The research itself took place on the campus of Tuskegee Institute.
What it Was Designed to Find Out
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. Researchers told the men participating in the study that they were to be treated for "bad blood." This term was used locally by people to describe a host of diagnosable ailments including but not limited to anemia, fatigue, and syphilis.
Who Were the Participants
A total of 600 men were enrolled in the study. Of this group 399, who had syphilis were a part of the experimental group and 201 were control subjects. Most of the men were poor and illiterate sharecroppers from the county.
What the Men Received in Exchange for Participation
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.