‘You’ve got bad blood’: The horror of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment – The Washington Post

“All I knew was that they just kept saying I had the bad blood — they never mentioned syphilis to me. Not even once,” said Pollard, who added: “They been doctoring me off and on ever since then. And they gave me a blood tonic.”

Shaw explained: “We got three different types of medicine. A little round pill — sometime a capsule — sometime a little vial of medicine — everybody got the same thing.”

Although originally projected to last six months, the study extended for 40 years. “Local physicians asked to assist with study and not to treat men,” the Centers for Disease Control reported in a timeline of the experiment. “Decision was made to follow the men until death.”

In 1966, a public health service investigator raised concerns about the study. Peter Buxtun wrote to the director of the U.S. division of venereal diseases about the ethics of the experiment. But the agency ignored Buxtun’s concerns.

‘You’ve got bad blood’: The horror of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment – The Washington Post