I couldn't believe it when I read this. No doubt many of you in the US are already aware of the- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment The Tuskegee syphilis experiment (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African American men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government. The Public Health Service started working with the Tuskegee Institute in 1932. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama. 399 of those men had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 did not have the disease. The men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance, for participating in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood", a local term for various illnesses that include syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices available to the doctors involved in the study might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants and withholding penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.