The Experiences of New York City Foster Children in HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials

Vera Institute of Justice

An independent review into medical experiments performed on African-American and Latino foster children in New York found that the HIV/AIDS clinical trials ignored some child welfare agency regulations, but did not find support for allegations that scientists removed children from their families just to participate in the trials and caused some of their deaths.

Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit organization that provides research assistance for justice and safety issues found that consent from the child welfare commissioner was never received for some of the 532 foster care children participating in the experiments between 1988 and 2005, and that other participants’ consent forms were incomplete or filled out improperly. The report showed no evidence that any of the 80 deaths of child participants was caused directly by the medications they received during the trials.  All 532 participants were already infected with HIV before the clinical trial. 

While the report made no statement in support of or against the continued use of foster care children as clinical trial subjects, it issued a list of recommendations to avoid future exploitation. The list includes calling on medical workers, not child welfare workers, to monitor consent forms for child participation. Free, 508 pages.  (212) 376-3172,




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