A decent summary of what has been happening in The Daily Beast here.
The lobbying group for the adult-film industry is calling for a nationwide moratorium on shooting in the wake of a syphilis scare. Last Thursday, the adult industry trade publication XBIZ sent shock waves through the porn world by quoting two agents announcing that the unidentified performer had tested positive for the STD and allegedly worked for weeks shooting scenes, using a doctored test. By the following day, LATimes.com was reporting that the Los Angeles County Health Department was looking at a cluster of five possible syphilis cases related to the adult industry….
The industry argues that the testing system is not only sufficient, but that mandating condoms would dangerously compromise performer safety by superseding testing. “If the condom ordinance were in place, then our testing protocols would not be as widely accepted and followed. And we would not be able to protect the performers,” [Diane] Duke says. “The thing that is so wonderful about our industry is that we do have protocols that are in place and we have a system in place to make sure people are tested and taken care of. The average person on the street doesn’t have that access.”
According to Duke, the performer who tested positive for syphilis is now cooperating with the FSC. “The performer who was positive for syphilis has come forward and is working with us to initiate the partner identification, evaluation, and treatment.” She adds, “I think what we will find is that the system that is in place worked. We have a positive performer and we also have a network in place to make sure everyone else is tested and treated.”
More significant than a(nother) summary of what is both legally and technically known re how this bout of syphilis was potentially introduced into the adult performer population and/or what is being called “prophylactic treatment for syphilis for all performers” (everyone is being asked to get a shot, syphilis present or otherwise, because of the infection’s long incubation period) though is how the performer population is reacting to this situation.
There is plenty to read on social media sites (ie Twitter), but I was actually most impacted by a heart-felt statement from Danny Wylde. Here is some of it, but the entire post is available here.
After allying myself/[Danny Wylde] with FSC and becoming a performer representative for APHSS, I’ve been made very aware that a portion of the industry STRONGLY distrusts both. And since Manwin – the largest, most controversial company in the adult industry (they are largely responsible for the “tube” sites that have financially devastated much of adult production) – has put their public support behind APHSS, the opposition has become even more vocal…
[T]he obvious problem is that Talent Testing Service did their duty and it wasn’t enough. They tested the performer for syphilis. His results came back positive, so they recommended him for treatment. It wasn’t until a third party got involved that the industry responded with a production moratorium to prevent the possible spread of infection.
This is because Talent Testing Service has no protocol for what to do in the event of an exposure. At least not beyond their legal responsibility. It’s not even a medical clinic. It’s strictly a testing facility.
Theoretically, if the performer had tested at an APHSS approved facility, the positive test result would instigate an immediate reaction. We wouldn’t have to wait several days (or longer if no good samaritan broke the news) for a moratorium…
I understand people want a choice when it comes to their healthcare. Forcing a specific clinic or doctor on someone is not a popular decision. But without a centralized testing system, the adult industry has no safeguards to prevent STI outbreaks. We’ve already proved that we can’t trust people on good faith. A centralized database holds people accountable. And right now, it doesn’t exist…
APHSS – however corrupt and politically-motivated you may believe it to be – is THE ONLY system actively working to ensure adult performer safety. I have been approached numerous times within the past two years to be a part of organizations that aimed to provided benefits to performers such as healthcare and community outreach programs. None of them were able to get past a few meetings. Because it requires a lot of hard work and a tremendous amount of resources. Very well-meaning people give up because it seems like an impossible fight…
So my plea to our industry is this: be realistic. Politics invade every form of regulation. And where money is involved, I’m sure that no one is working out of the goodness of their heart. But the alternative to working within our system is abandoning it. If that is your solution because you hate Manwin or don’t trust FSC, then “Fuck you.” Go do something else. If you think there’s a massive problem with our current system, come up with a well-researched alternative and present it to our community. You can make your case through any one of our media outlets and I guarantee you it will catch on if you back it up…
[I]f you’re in porn, maybe think about “us.” Even if you disagree with me, come up with something better…. That works. Because yelling at me for following the only rules we have is not helping.
I *highly recommend* reading Danny’s entire piece here – it is extremely well-thought out, insightful, and – I believe – honest.
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