*more on syphilis currently impacting the adult community*

The Associated Press has reported five additional cases of syphilis in the adult performer population. This brings the total number of cases associated with this current “outbreak” to nine. (8/21/12, here)

Some text from AP is quoted below. This report was also shared by AVN here.

Four more cases of syphilis have been found in an investigation of an outbreak among porn performers, bringing the total to nine, and the discovery of more cases is likely, Los Angeles County’s top health official said Tuesday [8/21/12].

Five cases were reported last week, causing a trade group for the multi-billion dollar industry to call for a halt in filming to prevent the spread of disease.

“It’s not surprising in the adult film industry that we would have transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases because they’re having unprotected sex, oftentimes with multiple actors,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The current number of syphilis cases in the most recent outbreak “will grow,” said Fielding, adding that an ongoing investigation is expected to uncover more cases. The latest discoveries were made through testing of the sexual partners of the earlier cases found, he said.

All those infected are also in the industry, but it remains unclear whether they contracted the illness on- or off-set, he said.

The Free Speech Coalition called for a nationwide filming moratorium this weekend, telling performers to get tested for syphilis and to get penicillin shots before returning to sets. After performers get the shots, they can go back to work within 10 days, said FSC spokeswoman Joanne Cachapero.

Last year, 819 cases of syphilis were reported throughout Los Angeles County, said Fielding. While the number of cases in the porn community may seem small by comparison, Fielding said, “I doubt that the rate of sexually transmitted disease is higher anywhere else…”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis is transmitted through direct contact with syphilis sores, which mainly occur on the external genitals, vagina, anus or inside the rectum.

A single shot of penicillin can cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year, according to the CDC. Additional doses are necessary for people who have had the STD for a longer period…

Interesting moments:

– There is no citation or qualification regarding “multi-billion dollar industry.” Why do people continue to spout this dated and wholly unsubstantiated “statistic”?? (I have a guess)

– The statement: “It’s not surprising in the adult film industry that we would have transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases because they’re having unprotected sex, oftentimes with multiple actors” could easily read: “It’s not surprising in the [general population] that we would have transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases because they’re having unprotected sex, oftentimes with multiple [partners].”

– Not to trivialize the number 9, but 9 to 819 is the same as 1 to 91… meaning 1 in the adult population to every 91 in the county. Sure, the adult performer pool is part of LA County (well, a lot of it is), but all that does is drop us to 1 to 90.

WHERE transmission occurred is an important consideration. So is HOW – syphilis sores are not only found on external genitals. Conveniently omitted from the report above is:

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. (full quote from the CDC here, emphasis added)

–> This information is extremely important for performers dealing with this situation. <–

– More from the CDC on syphilis here, but this bit is significant:

Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of penicillin, an antibiotic, will cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has had syphilis for longer than a year. For people who are allergic to penicillin, other antibiotics are available to treat syphilis. There are no home remedies or over-the-counter drugs that will cure syphilis. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done.

MUCH controversy has been brewing, rumbling, and nearly blowing up regarding handling this situation within the adult community. Many folks believe that the best course of action is the centralized plan offered by APHSS. Others have concerns regarding taking prophylactic medication, allergies, and “being told what to do.”

Because I am not an MD, psychologist, sexologist, or lawyer, all I can do is quote Danny Wylde: “If your opinion contradicts the moratorium rule, FIND A DOCTOR THAT CAN SUBSTANTIATE IT. I have a doctor who works with adult industry performers. He’s telling me to get a shot. So I’m going to get a shot. I trust his medical advice more than an opinion on Twitter.”

Please make informed, educated choices!!

 

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