The United States apologized Friday for a 1946-1948 research study that purposely infected people in Guatemala with sexually transmitted diseases.
A statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the action “reprehensible.”
“We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices,” the joint statement said. “The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala.”
Guatemalan officials are aware of the report but will not comment on it until later Friday, presidential spokesman Ronaldo Robles told CNN.
The investigation was called the U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948.
“The study is a sad reminder that adequate human subject safeguards did not exist a half-century ago,” the U.S. statement said. “Today, the regulations that govern U.S.-funded human medical research prohibit these kinds of appalling violations.”