(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a joint statement apologizing for a U.S.-funded study that infected Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases during the late 1940s. In the statement, Clinton and Sebelius call the 'U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948' "unethical," "appalling" and "sad."
The secretaries of State and Health and Human Services both acknowledged, "Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health."
Clinton and Sebelius offered a former apology saying, "We deeply regret it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."
The statment also emphasized that the study does not represent the values of the U.S. and its great respect for the people of Guatemala, calling its citizens "close friends and neighbors of the Americas."
There are currently regulations that govern human medical research funded by the U.S. that prohibit violations such as the study in Guatemala.
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