83 died in 1940s US STD study

Source: ABC News

At least 83 people died after being deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases in US government experiments in Guatemala during the 1940s, a commission investigating the program has found.

Nearly 5,500 people were subjected to diagnostic testing and more than 1,300 were exposed to venereal diseases by contact or inoculations.

Within that group, “we believe that there were 83 deaths”, said commission member Stephen Hauser.

Among the 1,300 exposed to STDs, fewer than “700 received some form of treatment as best as could be documented,” Mr Hauser added.

US president Barack Obama created the commission last year after news of the experiments came to light.

Mr Obama personally apologised to Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom in October before ordering a thorough review of what happened, and secretary of state Hillary Clinton described the experiments as “clearly unethical”.

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