Friday, August 29, 2014

And Away We Go Again: Another Potential HIV Scare, Another Moratorium...Another Nail In The Coffin For Condomless Porn??

Here. We. Go. AGAIN.
(August 28, 2014) – Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the adult industry trade association, called for a production moratorium today after one of the testing facilities in its PASS testing system reported a possible positive HIV test for an adult performer.

“There was a positive test at one of our testing centers. Confirmatory tests are not yet back but we are taking every precaution to protect performers and to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool,” said FSC CEO Diane Duke.

“We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed.”
The next steps will be to perform additional tests, determine a timeline, and identify any first generation partners.

“We want to make sure all performers are protected. The performers’ health and safety is the most important thing,” Duke added.

As of this notice, FSC calls for all production to halt immediately, until further notice.
As this only broke yesterday afternoon, speculation is running rife about the identity of the affected performer, how or if she got infected (or whether or not this may be a false positive), and whether or not the impact of this new moratorium will be enough to undercut performer solidarity in favor of mandatory condoms. However, the following is known information, based on actual verifiable sources (and documented over at The Real Porn Wikileaks blog):

1) The initial reactive test results were preliminary; confirmatory testing has been done on the affected performer and all her 1st-generation on-screen partners, with results due to be released later today at the earliest.

2) At least four major performers have been verified to be part of the 1st gen quarantine list, and have been tested. That does NOT mean that they are indeed infected, just that they have engaged with the performer most directly isolated. Since 2004, it should be noted, there has not been one case of any performer getting infected with HIV on set.

3) According to Michael Whiteacre over at TRPWL, the affected performer is in her 30's, has performed for around a year in adult, has maintained a regular two-week testing regimen with FSCPASS (including a full panel of testing at the beginning of the month), and is romanticaly involved with another performer.

(Per BPPA policy, we do not and will NOT ever reveal the name of any potentially infected performer or 1st gen partner without direct permission or until they themselves feel fit to reveal themselves publically. Any attempt to reveal such info via comments or linkage on this blog will be immediately deleted and/or redacted.)

Not surprisingly, all the usual peanut gallery rogues are at their loudest squawking tones about how this latest "infection" proves once and for all that only condoms can protect performers from HIV; and that the FSCPASS protocols are an abject failure for HIV prevention. Then again, they were pitching the same BS for the last two or three "outbreaks", and they were proven so wrong.

At least this time, there are sane voices out there calling for calm and solidarity.....the newly formed performers' group Adult Performers' Advocacy Committee (APAC) released a timely and well structured statement on the latest scare that deserves reprinting in its entirity for its depth of common sense and reason in the face of the fear and psycho terror that must be affecting a lot of LA performers.

APAC is requesting that all adult performers honor PASS’s call for a moratorium and treat each other with compassion and respect during this time.
When an industry moratorium, especially one related to HIV, occurs, performers are often concerned about their health, the health of their co-workers, their financial security, and public perception of the porn industry. Fear and mistrust are understandable reactions. Desire for facts and belief in rumors when no facts are available are also understandable reactions.

The only facts available at this time are that a positive HIV result has been reported to the FSC and that a call has been made to stop all production while a confirmatory test is done.

The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee’s mission is to support the safety, happiness, and well-being of individual performers, and our community. Therefore we stand against blaming specific performers for contracting HIV, and we encourage them to take steps to ensure HIV- negative scene partners are not exposed. We also firmly stand against any homophobia (ie blaming “crossover” performers or gay studios) in a time of industry moratorium.

APAC is asking all performers to refrain from exchanging body fluids during this moratorium. This includes girl-girl only performers, trans performers, “gay” performers, queer performers, and “straight” performers, and includes performers based out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and anywhere else adult productions are shot in the United States or with performers who have recently been here. This also includes trade shoots and recreational activities.

The blending of gay and straight performers; transgender and cisgender performers; queer, homo- and heterosexual sexualities; is an increasing reality in our industry. There is no “gay” or straight” industry, even if there are straight and gay audiences.

HIV is not transmitted by gay people to straight people, it is transmitted from a positive partner to a negative partner by very specific sexual acts that are not specific to sexual orientation.

This request to honor the current moratorium is made for the safety of our community as a whole and for your safety. Regardless of your feelings towards the FSC or any other entity in the adult film industry, we believe this is the right thing to do.

APAC is also asking fellow performers to show compassion towards each other and to our unnamed peer who is currently waiting for the results of their confirmatory test. Their entire life has just been turned upside down and shaken. Any one of us could be in that person’s shoes. Think about what it might be like to be in those shoes before you point fingers, throw accusations around, or tweet about who you might guess they are.

As performers, it is our responsibility to understand how HIV is transmitted and to show care for other performers. At APAC, we offer resources on HIV and STI education and a private, performer only platform for performers to support and discuss concerns about moratoriums with each other.

Moratoriums are an opportunity for performers to be a voice of reason and stability about sexual health, to educate ourselves, and to show care for each other.

When moratorium-related concerns turn into anxious blame or trying to figure out whose “fault” it is, performers are pitted against one another.

When these concerns are instead played out as care for one another, our industry and the community of performers becomes stronger.

APAC encourages performers to reach out to their existing support systems, and to remember we’re all in this together and should be able to lean on each other.
Personally, I think that this is the direct effect of laws like Measure B coming back to bite some asses hard by driving performers underground into less safe ventures. A part of me that's more into conspiracies might see the hand of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in all this, paying and supporting "moles" to infect performers "off-the-clock", or introduce HIV+ "crossover" performers into the adult performer pool in order to poison it, and use the insuing panic and terror based on the fear of an outbreak and the loss of livelihood during the moratoria period to push their "condoms only" agenda. (That's solely MY opinion, not reflective of anybody else here at BPPA.)

But, that's not important right now. The real thing at the moment is to remain calm and await the results of the testing, and then act accordingly as to what the legitimate level of threat really is. This could be bigger than what took place in 2004 with Darren James; it could also be a false positive. Or, it could be just like many of the other "outbreaks" we've seen these last two years: an isolated off-the-clock event that was caught before anyone else got harmed.  What we will see, we will see.

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