Industry News

Mark Kernes Answers Back

OP/ED by Mark Kernes

Talk about being disingenuous! Sure, Dr. Rigg’s name is mentioned as one of the AUTHORS of the study, and sure, he’s identified in the footnote simply as “West Oaks Urgent Care Center,” but that combination is a far cry from saying that the study participants all came from West Oak—and the study seems in no great rush to admit that fact, perhaps especially because you’re correct: Dr. Rigg’s reputation IS well known in the porn community, and the defamation laws prevent me from being more explicit in stating what that reputation is and has been for at least 20 years. What the study DOES say about where the subjects came from is just this: “Study participants were recruited from a primary care clinic that serves performers in the AFI.” THAT’S ALL! NO mention of West Oak; NO mention of Dr. Rigg as a supplier of participants.

And speaking of missing things, the point I was making about the fact that “only 28%” of the study participants tested positive for ANY STD is that it is entirely possible that ALL of the 28% positives were among the 30% of participants who hadn’t appeared in an adult movie in at least 30 days — and as everyone in adult knows, the overwhelming majority of talent won’t work with a performer whose test is over 28 days old — so how do we know that ALL of those positives didn’t contract their diseases AFTER their tests had expired, and how do we know that the REASON those people hadn’t appeared in a movie in more than 30 days wasn’t because they suspected they had an infection — and how do we know that the infections WOULDN’T have been discovered if they had had their regular monthly tests??? The study never makes clear WHICH or HOW MANY of the positive performers had not been in a movie for at least 30 days, and that information is vital to understanding whether ANYONE who is regularly tested at the approved industry clinics were found to have been infected but undetected by industry protocols.

And of course, it’s not up to me to prove that those infections happened OFF the set; it’s the study’s obligation to prove they happened ON the set if they plan to use the study to claim that industry testing is to blame — as they clearly want to do!

It’s worth pointing out that AHF’s reliance on this study makes it clear that, despite what EVERY ONE of their paid signature gatherers claimed, Measure B isn’t about contracting incurable HIV on porn sets, which has been AHF’s main argument from Day 1 — and now that we’ve proved that false, since there have been NO HIV transmissions on hetero porn sets since 2004, they’ve retreated to claiming that no, it’s really OTHER STDs that are rampant on the set, when in fact, Dr. Mayer’s report makes it clear that there has been no study showing that STD infections on porn sets are ANY HIGHER than the infection rates among similarly-aged and similarly-sexually-active LA residents — in part because the overwhelming majority of LA residents have NEVER been tested for an STD!

Sadly, with AIM gone, and thanks to AHF’s lawsuit against AIM, with the new testing centers having become increasingly careful that they not violate HIPAA medical privacy laws, it’s been impossible for me to ascertain how many STD-positives have been found in the adult performing community during any period of time, and sadly, the county health department, with its anti-porn agenda (as evidenced by myriad comments by Dr. Kerndt and Ms. Rodriguez-Hart) cannot be trusted to be giving accurate industry-related STD rates to the public.

Beyond that, I don’t set industry testing protocols, but in our article, Tom and I do suggest that taking oral and rectal swabs to test for disease is a good idea, and one which I’m sure will be implemented in the near future — and yes, the study was useful in pointing out that deficit. But as Tom and I wrote, the study says NOTHING about whether the positive STDs it found were ever transmitted to ANYONE ELSE in the performing community — and wouldn’t THAT be useful information to have included if, as the study claims, the lack of throat and rectal samples is causing a problem with performers’ health?

And as long as you’re questioning MY credentials, just who are you, “XXXMed”? Are you even a doctor? Do YOU have any affiliation with AHF or County Health? Or are you just some asshole who doesn’t give a fuck whether LA loses thousands of workers (and the taxes they pay) or the millions of dollars that the adult industry brings to LA?

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