Tuskegee Syphilis Study (1932-1972).
An equally well known chapter in history occurred during a research
project conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service. Six hundred
low-income African-American males, 400 of whom were infected with
syphilis, were monitored for 40 years. Free medical examinations were
given; however, subjects were not told about their disease. Even though
a proven cure (penicillin) became available in the 1950s, the study
continued until 1972 with participants being denied treatment. In some
cases, when subjects were diagnosed as having syphilis by other
physicians, researchers intervened to prevent treatment. Many subjects
died of syphilis during the study.