The New Tuskegee Experiment
For 40 years, the U.S. government funded experiments on hundreds of black men in the late stages of syphilis by withholding treatment and allowing them to go blind, paralytic, insane and die. Only the autopsies of the poor sharecroppers from Alabama were really of interest to the U.S. Public Health Service.
Today, we see that experiment as a moral outrage. Bill Clinton officially apologized for it in 1997. Yet the U.S. government remains involved in grisly medical experimentation of this kind in Third World countries on a much grander scale than the Tuskegee experiment.
The latest horror is a joint project of the British government, the U.S. government and population-reduction advocate Bill Gates. The victims in this experiment are black women in South Africa. Here's how it works. Some 2,200 young women are given a microbicide gel incorporating the drug tenofovir and told to apply it to their sexual organs 12 hours before sex with their HIV-infected male partners and 12 hours afterward.
These experiments risking the lives of human beings rather than laboratory rats have been going on since 2007. Already hundreds of women have been given medical death sentences as a result. Yet, the international community is praising this program as a real breakthrough in helping to prevent the transmission of HIV.
Last year, the experts were boasting about the gel showing a 39 percent effectiveness rate. I want you to think about what that means.
A 39 percent effectiveness rate when you are dealing with the transmission of a deadly virus means a 61 percent failure rate. Worse yet, the control victims received a placebo gel — one that could not protect them from HIV at all, just like the Tuskegee victims, meaning 100 percent were told to have sex with their HIV-infected partners with no chance of protection.
Is an experiment a success when 61 percent of the healthy patients die as a result of following the advice of doctors funded by the U.S. government, the British government and Bill Gates? Should experiments like that even be permitted, let alone tax funded? Shouldn't people be going to jail for participating in experiments that would make Josef Mengele proud?
Yet, yesterday, the leadership team of that study was awarded the Drug Information Association President's Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Health.
This year, the ghoulish South Africa project is boasting much better results — 59 percent effectiveness.
Knowing all we know about past efforts to use human beings as guinea pigs, how is it that experiments like this are once again receiving taxpayer funds, accolades from the scientific community and no scrutiny or criticism whatsoever — until the publication of this column?
They say if we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it. Likewise, if we don't learn from the mistakes of pseudoscientific human vivisection, we're doomed to repeat them, as well. And that's exactly what we seem to be doing right now with nightmarish experiments dooming people to lives of sickness and early, gruesome deaths.
This week, news reports about the research focused on a "side benefit" of the project — only the most recent of several, some of which received no public attention because they proved 100 percent ineffective in retarding the spread of HIV. What was the good news? It was that women liked using the gel because it made sex with their HIV-infected partners more pleasurable.
Of course, that pleasure is going to be short-lived because it makes it more likely that women will have sex more frequently with their HIV-infected partners — increasing the odds that this game of Russian roulette is going to end badly for them.
We're repulsed today by the Tuskegee experiments that ended in 1973 with hundreds of poor black victims in Alabama. How is it any different with the U.S. government spending tens of millions of your hard-earned tax dollars experimenting on Zulu women in South Africa — knowing full well that thousands of them will be infected with a dreaded sexually transmitted virus far worse than syphilis?
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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