syphilis

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I’m not sure if you ever heard of the Tuskegee Experiment, but I won’t be surprised if you haven’t because it’s consistent with how White Supremacy tries to hide or down play the tragedies that were done in the United States!

From 1932 to 1972, for 40 YEARS, the U.S. Public Health Services conducted an “experiment” on 399 BLACK MEN with the syphilis virus AT FIRST. The Doctors told the men they were treating them for “Bad Blood” but in all actuality they were injecting them with the syphilis virus. The doctors also had no intentions of curing the men once infected with the virus. The doctors were using the illusion of “Free Health Care” to conduct their “experiments” at one point they were doing spinal taps on the Men.
At the end of the experiment, 28 of the men had died directly from the cause of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis. This is just further Evidence of how America has always targeted Black People!


Post written by: @Oba_Tayo

A boy suffering from congenital syphilis. The suffering this illness caused in pre-penicillin eras was completely excruciating. Approximately 15 percent of the entire population of Paris was believed to carry the disease by the end of the 19th century. Syphilis was shameful in these times, as many men got it from prostitutes working at brothels and whorehouses - symbols of decadence and debauchery in the public eyes - where it roamed free and untamed. Many people suffered in silence for whole lifetimes, subjecting themselves to treatments as horrible, prolonged and dehumanizing as the sickness itself.

See, syphilis does not necessarily kill you right away; many lived with their horrible syphilitic terror for 40 years or more. A most sinister, detailed account for it in can be found in the diary later published as La doulou: extraits du journal d'Edmond de Goncourt, describing french writers Alphonse Daudet’s gruesome ordeal in late 1800’s France. 

Gummatous syphilide, with ulceration and necrosis of frontal bone

If you’ve ever wondered how someone could live with a skull like this one.

Tertiary syphilis would arise between three to 15 years after infection, and emerged as “gummatous” (forming gummas, soft tumor-like nodules, like what caused this lady’s ulcer) about 15% of the time. If the inflammatory nodules didn’t form on an important organ or blood vessel (as they could, and did, form anywhere in the body), gummatous syphilis wasn’t in and of itself fatal. Death from infected ulcers was not uncommon, however.

Interestingly, you could have gone to town with this lady and not gotten syphilis from her, despite her having been infected for probably more than half her life - tertiary syphilis is no longer transmissible.

A Practical Treatise on Diseases of the Skin. John V. Shoemaker, 1892.

This 1863 image from the Wellcome Trust illustrates a distinctly vampiric set of “Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth” – makes you wonder if the visual image of the vampire was inspired by the widespread horrors of untreated syphilis (for an exceptionally visceral window into a society wracked by untreated syphilis, have a look at the Mutter Museum’s display of syphilitic skulls). (via Curiously vampiric teeth of untreated syphilis sufferers - Boing Boing)

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Bad Blood in Alabama — The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Back in the day syphilis was a very deadly and terrible disease.  Before the invention of antibiotics there was no practical cure for syphilis and what treatments they had at the time often involved poisonous chemicals such as arsenic or mercury.  Those inflicted with the illness could expect a slow painful death with nerve damage, disfigurement, and dementia.  

In 1932 the Public Health Service (PHS) commissioned a study with the Tuskegee institute to examine and monitor the stages and symptoms of syphilis.  They gathered a group of 600 African American men from Macon County, Alabama, 399 of which were infected with syphilis.  The rest were used as a control group.  The men who participated in the study, most of whom were poor sharecroppers, were enticed by the offer of free healthcare and free funeral services.  Little did they know that they were to become pawns in a massive injustice that would turn medical ethics on its head.

The catch of the study was that the subjects were not to know that they had syphilis. When asked, clinicians told them that they had “bad blood” a local colloquial term that meant a number of different illnesses.  Subjects were even given placebos to maintain the illusion that they were receiving treatment.  Periodically the subjects would have blood taken, would be given a physical, and would have spinal fluid tapped.  When a subject passed away his remains would be autopsied to examine the effect the disease had on the body.

By World War II the invention of antibiotics, most notably penicillin, had revolutionized healthcare and medicine.  Whereas before syphilis was treated with dangerous and often useless chemicals, it could now be treated safetly with doses of penicillin.   Essentially syphilis had been cured, so it would seem logical that the Tuskegee study no longer served any purpose.  Despite this the PHS decided to proceed with the study, believing that it should continue until all subjects had died and been autopsied.  When it comes down to it, the clinicians of the PHS had sealed the fate of hundreds of African American men to die a slow and painful death, all in the name of science. The clinicians withheld knowledge of new treatments and cures.  They also discouraged subjects from seeking treatment elsewhere. The study continued on.

Over two decades later, in 1966, a PHS employee named Baxter Buxtun began to express concerns over the ethics of the Tuskegee study.  Two years later an African American epidemiologist working for the PHS named William Carter Jenkins also expressed concerns over the study.  The Centers for Disease Control, which then operated the study, immediately went on the defensive.  The CDC gained support from the American Health Association, and incredibly they even gained support from local chapters of the National Medical Association, which represented African American physicians.  Finally in 1972 Buxton went public with his concerns, and word of the Tuskegee study became front page news all over the country. After a Congressional hearing, the study was shut down mere days later.  By then 28 men had died of syphilis, 100 had died of syphilis related complications, 40 wives had been infected, and 19 children were born with congenital syphilis.  The information gathered by the Tuskegee study was found to be of little  scientific value.

In the aftermath of the study, a number of committees were created to regulate medical studies.  As well a number of new laws were also created to enforce medical ethics.  Among them is now one of the most important in healthcare law called “informed consent”.  As for the victims, they received $10million dollars from a lawsuit conducted by the NAACP, as well as free healthcare and funeral services from the Federal Government.  An official apology was finally issued by President Bill Clinton in 1997. 

Circa 1951, elementary-school children in Athens, Greece crowd around each other outside, while drinking UNICEF-supplied milk from tin cups. The noon meal includes other foods supplied by UNICEF, a programme reaching thousands of schoolchildren.

Since 1948 in Greece, UNICEF has provided food assistance, including milk, cheese, meats, fish, cod-liver oil and peanut butter, to some 1 million Greek children and mothers. In an anti-tuberculosis campaign including the Scandanavian Relief Societies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, begun in October 1949, more than 1.3 million Greeks were tested for tuberculosis and 931,000 vaccinated with BCG serum. Other UNICEF aid includes donations of penicillin to combat syphilis; raw cotton and wool for clothing and raw leather to make 150,000 pairs of shoes; as well as support for child-care training and the setting up of milk pasteurization plants.

© UNICEF/NYHQ1951-0001/Photographer Unknown

http://www.unicef.org