Industry News

Syph in the Industry, Whose Fault Is It Anyway?


There is a very crucial part of Mr. Marcus’ explanation of these events that seems to be getting lost amid all the speculation,gossip and rumor.  In his explanation Marcus says that he has never told his private physician what he does for a living.  How can any doctor give proper treatment when his patient fails to reveal crucial information, especially about STD’s from a person who works in the sex industry.
Marcus tells us that he tested positive for syphilis on July 11.  We know that he must have contracted the disease some time before then, and how long is another crucial question.  You must go back to his last negative syphilis test to establish any timeline. His infection occurred sometime between his last negative test and July 11. Possibly even up to ninety days before that negative test, as he may have been in the window period before the infection was detectable. He could have had this disease for months without knowing it, and fellow performers in the industry should be demanding this information. Marcus could have worked with many people in the months before he was diagnosed with the disease. Syphilis is an easy disease to spread, even skin to skin contact can transmit the disease.
Marcus’ private physician administered a shot of penicillin. Under normal circumstances this would usually cure the disease. But Marcus’ physician did not have all the facts about his patient, crucial facts.  Unprotected sex with multiple sex workers is not something you should keep secret from your doctor, especially when you are talking with him about STD’s. Depending on the length of time you have had the disease, syphilis can require more than one treatment to be cured. CDC guidelines call for up to three shots for someone who has been infected for more than a year, but these are just guidelines. Every individuals body may react differently to the disease, and to the treatment. I can’t help but think that if Marcus’ physician had known what he did for a living he would have recommended a different course of action. It is entirely possible that Marcus was infected for quite some time before being diagnosed, and as such, one treatment was not enough.
The fault for all of this is at the feet of Mr. Marcus. The attempts by some entities within the adult industry to use this as a political bargaining chip, and to try to assign some level of blame to the testing facility is disgusting.  TTS has been providing services in California for years, and they have been doing so right out in the open. If they were violating any laws they would have been closed down long ago. For some reason, a faction of the adult industry doesn’t think that any of these medical laws apply to them, and that too is a major part of the problem.  TTS is merely the messenger, and you don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message. Anyone who thinks that a privately owned medical facility has some duty to the porn industry as a whole, over their duty to the individual patients they serve, is just simply wrong. Do not put the failure of the porn industry to adequately address the issue of performer safety, on the messenger who delivers the message that your system is inadequate. A message that has been delivered time and time again.  Mr. Pacheco of TTS is absolutely correct when he says that the testing should be handled by an entity completely free of any association within the porn industry.   Having the FSC, an organization that represents producers, not performers, involved is like having the fox guard the henhouse.
One company that Marcus worked for has announced that they are notifying everyone who worked with him, and is offering testing and treatment, paid for by them. While this is certainly a good thing, they are actually doing nothing more that the law requires them to do. And since they have made this public, I hope that they have filed the proper notifications to OSHA. While offering the testing and treatment is one thing, they must also keep these records in compliance with HIPPA regulations, and that means they must have a written protocol plan that addressed specifically how they handle any HIPPA protected material, and for some reason I doubt they do. But lets not downplay what they are doing, it is a good thing, but by making this public they have sent an engraved invitation to OSHA to come knocking on their door.

There are no rules and regulations in the industry regarding STD’s. Everything is voluntary, and that too is part of the problem. While many, in fact most in the industry, performers, agents, directors and producers adhere strictly to the agreed upon protocols, the sad fact is it only takes one single individual to cause a complete breakdown of the system, and the current situation is proof positive of that. This system relies solely,100% on the integrity of all of those who participate in it.  If you feel comfortable with the level of integrity of everyone in the system I think you are only fooling yourself. If someone with the stellar reputation that Marcus had could do something like this, just imagine what a less scrupulous individual could be capable of. Sometimes an individual may unknowingly bring disease into the industry,  and that is bad enough.  A thirty day period between tests makes this a very likely occurrence. A shorter window period would certainly help, but it would not solve the problem. But when someone,  knowingly brings in disease, that is a completely different story. Only time will tell how the industry reacts to this, and if past performance is an indicator, the industry will fail again.  Lets not forget that Evil Angel a few years back dropped a person from their company after being caught three times altering tests.  That person still works in the industry today.
And as a side note.  There is always the comparison of untested civilians,versus tested porn stars, and who puts who at more risk.  But the fact is, many porn stars also have sex with untested civilians, so porn performers get the worst of both worlds.  Not only are they taking risks when performing in unprotected scenes, but the amount of sex with untested civilians also finds its way into the circle of porn performers. I’ve seen it said before that the porn industry should weed out escorts, but did you ever think that the escort business should weed out porn performers?

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