PVV – Derrick honey, I’m not so sure I follow you…

So today was supposed to be somewhat chillax – give a final, collect papers, grade some, practice a little yoga… you know, relaxing.

…but an email from KT first thing this morning got me into quite a lather!!

Rather than being about some progressive jurisprudential finding or an epic new BMX something or other (I know multiple KTs), KT’s email included a link to this piece of LA Times super-reporting by LA Times Super Reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske entitled “HIV-positive porn performer speaks out.”

Now I know it reifies and legitimizes the LA Times as a source worth consideration to even engage what they refer to as “reporting;” but after reading through this “article,” I just couldn’t help myself.

A man named Derrick Burts has identified himself as “Patient Zeta” (yes, that Patient Zeta; catch up here and here).  Burts/Patient Zeta tested positive for HIV in October after working in gay and straight adult films.  He says he now favors enforcing mandatory condom use in porn productions.

Derrick Burts is, in fact, an adult performer; however he has little to no available itemized performance credits (see his iafd profile here). According to the LA Times, Burts works as “Cameron Reid” (also “Reed”) in straight scenes and as “Derek Chambers” in gay ones.  According to Burts himself, although he had “done a lot of stuff in…straight porn” during his first six weeks in the industry, he was “very new” to working in gay scenes as of this past fall (see the video embedded below/linked here uploaded October 15, 2010; also here).

Burts and/or the LA Times make the following assertions:

1. Burts was notified that he had tested positive for HIV via “panicked call” from Adult Industry Medical (AIM) on October 8, 2010.

2. Burts’ status was confirmed by AIM, and all persons he had worked with, including his girlfriend (who also works as industry talent), were also confirmed negative.

3. There are two-ish stories as to how Burts got HIV in the first place…

Story Number One: according to Burts, AIM staff told him they had traced his HIV infection to someone he had performed a scene with whom they described as a “known positive” on October 23, 2010. Although (allegedly) AIM would not elaborate as to the identity of this “known positive” performer, Burts says he thinks he may have contracted the infection during an unprotected bj scene shot in Florida.

(relevant fact: in gay porn, condoms are generally used in penetrative scenes, but not during oral ones)

So, Story Number One is claiming that Burts was sucking an unprotected and known-positive cock, which was the source of his infection.

Ummm… ease of transmission? I mean, although slobbing an HIV+ knob is definitely not without risk, it has been reported that transmission via oral sex with an HIV infected male person resulted in transmission 6.6% of the time (report here).  In other words, roughly one in fifty lollygags.

Story Number Two: according to AIM officials, Burts/Patient Zeta acquired the virus through private, personal activity. (statement here)

In other words, Story Number Two is claiming that this “mostly straight guy” was infected through the course of his private sex practice (which clearly did not involve his seronegative girlfriend).

Burts discusses his mostly straightness and love of bottoming (among many other things) in this above referred to interview with gay production company JetSet (below):

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) director Diane Duke has already issued a statement from Columbia (as in the country; she and attorney Jeffrey Douglas are currently there engaged in yet another .XXX battle) that includes: “The Free Speech Coalition is completely confident that the information released by AIM concerning the Patient Zeta is true and accurate.” (full statement here)

Story Number One or Story Number Two – which seems more probable?

And finally…

4. Burts said clinic staff put him in touch with an affiliated doctor in October and promised to arrange for his follow-up care. But according to Burts, no one followed up and he felt neglected. “AIM promised they would help me set up a doctor and get treatment,” he said. “They did none of that.”

In frustration, Burts said he went to an AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF, whom he had supposedly been warned by AIM against contacting) center in Los Angeles in November and saw a doctor.  He did not identify himself as Patient Zeta.

He was so pleased with the care he received that he contacted AHF’s leaders last week, came out as Patient Zeta, and said he wanted to speak out in favor of enforcing mandatory condom use in porn productions. Needless to say, AHF was thrilled.

Baby puppy Derrick, I am so so very sorry for you. I cannot imagine what it would be like to contract HIV. I know that, with proper care, it’s no longer considered a “death sentence” but still… it must be so difficult.

Regardless though, what you’re saying just doesn’t make sense. I think something else may be going on, I think you’re about to get worked by a man on one helluva mission (and btw Mike, where are the Foxx girls lately? catch up here and here), and I think you and your bebe might need to have a serious talk.

It’s not just me who is incredulous… LA Weekly-ish here and Gawker here.

(pictured throughout: Derrick Burts)

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