Industry News

STDs In Porn

Sarah emails:

Dear Luke,

I was wondering if you could do a commentary on the amount of STDs in porn today. The revelation by Belladonna “that 99.9% of the porn industry has Herpes” has really peaked my curiosity of how widespread diseases actually are in the industry. Do you think this is an accurate statement? Are certain diseases, like AIDS, treated differently than other, less life threatening diseases. For example, “Oh you have AIDS you can’t perform”, “Oh you have gonorrhea perform today than go get treatment”, “Oh you have herpes, that’s OK so does everyone else.” If what Belladonna said is true, what happens to new performers when they enter the business since most scenes are without any form of protection? Are they not told, or told to expect it as one of the drawbacks? Is this something that is just accepted and known? Am I out of the loop? I mean, according to Belladonna she has had Herpes for the past five years but has still been allowed to perform. Why hasn’t any big porn company come out and denied the industry is full of individuals with STDs. I thought they tested for diseases regularly.

Yes, almost everyone in porn has herpes. HIV is treated differently and more seriously than other diseases.

Porn performers are supposed to voluntarily test themselves at AIM (Adult Industry Medicine) at least once a month for HIV. Some of them test themselves regularly for other diseases as well. Those who come down with gonorrhea or syphilis are supposed to stop performing until their medication has kicked in and they are no longer contagious.

Performers are supposed to exchange HIV-test results before a scene.

The people who enter porn tend to be self-destructive and sloppy.

Some take good care of themselves and are careful about who they work with. Many just want a quick paycheck and are not rigorous with their health.

There are introductory videos to the industry (by Sharon Mitchell and Nina Hartley) that warn of STDs and other problems.

Jason Stoner emails:

Luke,

I’ve continued to read your site and a handful of other porn-news-blogs over the years but haven’t noticed any discussions lately regarding sex toys.  Tristan T. did a piece on the subject in her Village Voice column awhile ago but what got me thinking about it again was all the news about faulty products coming out of China.  I note that any sex toy I’ve ever purchased has always been “Made in China.”  What exactly are the ingredients that go into all those fake dicks and pussies?  Radioactive waste?  Lead?  Mercury?  Carcinogenic plastics resins?  One can only image…..  Sounds like a scoop, Luke!

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