ASTDA is the proud sponsor of:
June 27, 2013
James Blanchard, MD, MPH, PhD
ASTDA is the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, an organization dedicated to the control and study of sexually transmitted diseases. ASTDA is a membership organization, and membership is open to any individual with interest in the control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
After extensive discussion and deep reflection, the ASTDA Executive Committee has voted to retire the Thomas Parran award, and to implement a new award honoring the highest achievements in our field. The ASTDA Distinguished Career Award will be given annually to recognize long and distinguished contributions in the field of STD research and prevention.
This decision was the result of deliberations carried out over the past several months addressing the Guatemala STD human inoculation studies of 1946-1948, and Dr. Parran’s involvement in authorizing funding for these studies. Dr. Parran remains one of the great figures in the history of American venereology, having worked tirelessly in his lifetime to destigmatize STDs and promote modern methods of prevention and control. Yet his association with the Guatemala studies was troubling for a majority of ASTDA members, and many were concerned that continuing to offer the Parran award may give the appearance of tacit approval of unethical research. By retiring the Parran award, ASTDA now actively distances itself from the Guatemala studies, and looks forward to a new era of STD research and prevention infused with hope, optimism, and justice.
Many individuals, ASTDA members and non-members alike, contributed to the robust debate, and the commentaries are now listed in chronological order on our website under the News/Events tab. While many commentators felt it important to continue to recognize Dr. Parran for his innumerable worthy contributions to the field, the majority of our members felt the time is right to move ahead with a different award, without a name tied to any single individual, to acknowledge the highest career contributions to our field. The Executive Committee weighed all of these opinions carefully in a deliberate, thoughtful, and respectful manner.
ASTDA membership is appropriate for anyone who is interested in receiving the latest in scientific information about STDs and in supporting the organization's goal of STD prevention and control. Individuals who engage in STD-related research, STD program management and the clinical management of persons with or at risk for STD comprise the majority of our membership.
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