Talking with the Porn Performer Who Started the Syphilis Outbreak

Porn performers have a lot of responsibilities, not just to themselves but to co-stars, fans, and the people that are employing them. Part of that responsibility is getting monthly STI tests. In California, performers must complete a panel of tests each month they work. This panel tests for HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Syphilis is only required twice a year. After he or she is tested, results are provided via e-mail and are available online, so the studios can see the results. It is also standard procedure for the performers to bring a hard copy on set to avoid any confusion. Performers are trusted to be honest about the results of the tests and inform people if they have an STI.

Recently a veteran porn performer, Mr. Marcus, not only lied about testing positive for syphilis, he also altered the copy of his results so that those who employed him and performed with him would not know he was infected. This decision has caused the entire porn industry in California to come to a screeching halt for a two week, self-imposed moratorium, in order to make sure the outbreak has been contained.

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