As you may or may not know, back a few months ago a male porn actor named Derrick Burts (known before he identified himself, as patient Zeta) was diagnosed HIV positive. It was a big t0-do, once again bolstering condom advocacy health groups to push for mandatory condom use in porn films. And while the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation found that Burts contracted the virus during a personal sexual encounter, not on the job (a claim that Burts vehemently opposes) the clinic also said that Burts had not infected any other actors (Burts works in both gay male and hetero movies)â€¦though the clinic did not make any records available to substantiate their claim.
On top of this, The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) and Preventionâ€™s Epidemic Intelligence Serviceâ€™s Dr. Francisco Meza released a report where he stated in clear terms that he felt porn studios had stonewalled the investigation into Burtsâ€™ HIV infection. Though investigators managed to locate five of the 15 actors with whom Burts had sex with, they to were unwilling to cooperate. This all becomes news again because Meza was supposed to present his report again at a CDC conference in Atlanta on April 15th, but the conference was cancelled.
Either way, the debate rages on.
When I spoke to some of the people in the industry about all this back in Oct (see my report on the HIV scare here) it was pretty much understood that the porn community at large was not infected and that the industry was taking care of the matter â€œin house.â€ But the question still remains: should there be an over-all crack down on condom use in porn films and if so, who should enforce it and why are there still plenty of films being made where men go bare-back?
Iâ€™m not a doctor (nor do I play one of TV) but I know condoms do help hinder (not halt) the spread of sexually communicable diseases. But I also have read statements made by plenty of people in the dirty picture biz who claim their audience will simply not sit still for films featuring men wearing condoms. Given my own political convictions (which are pretty much no political convictions to speak of) I like less government regulation on things, but maybe a little self-policing by the industry might be in order here? This is a health issue Iâ€™d think the porn industry might want to be in on. No matter how safe one is, how many times performers are tested and how often porn stars stay with the same porn stars, I just think itâ€™s a law of averages when it comes to having that much sex. I wonâ€™t have a scintilla of that much action in my lifetime but I use condoms!
Then again, what do I know? Itâ€™s just interesting how this debate will not soon abate; it doesnâ€™t seem to be soon to (pardon the pun) wrap-up at all.