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Despite risk, older African-Americans more likely than others to avoid flu vaccine
Date:10/23/2009

ter off if they were not treated with those remedies. The researchers also wanted to study the efficacy of specific remedies for individual stages of the disease.

By 1947, penicillin was commonly used as an effective cure for the disease. The researchers, however, failed to treat study participants with the medication. As a result, many men died of syphilis, wives contracted it from husbands and children were born with congenital syphilis. The study was not discontinued until news of this fact emerged, causing a public uproar.

Rintamaki points out that although the some of the seniors interviewed were not familiar with these experiments, those who were thought that the Tuskegee researchers did more than withhold treatment. They thought they actually injected the men with syphilis.

"The Tuskegee experiments have stirred fear and suspicion in the African American community over many health initiatives," he says, "and the suspicion they spawned has a continuing negative effect on the health of that community.

"In fighting the flu by encouraging inoculation, it is imperative that as health communicators we recognize that such fears exist and address such them," he says.


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Contact: Patricia Donovan
pdonovan@buffalo.edu
716-645-4602
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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