Skip to content

Syphilis Scare Rocks Porn Industry in California

August 22, 2012
Sexually transmitted disease

Sexually transmitted disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More actors have been found to be infected with syphilis than initially estimated, with the reportedly nine actors having been infected:

Four more cases of syphilis have been found in an investigation of an outbreak among porn performers, bringing the total to nine, and the discovery of more cases is likely, Los Angeles County’s top health official said Tuesday.

Five cases were reported last week, causing a trade group for the multi-billion dollar industry to call for a halt in filming to prevent the spread of disease.

“It’s not surprising in the adult film industry that we would have transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases because they’re having unprotected sex, oftentimes with multiple actors,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The current number of syphilis cases in the most recent outbreak “will grow,” said Fielding, adding that an ongoing investigation is expected to uncover more cases. The latest discoveries were made through testing of the sexual partners of the earlier cases found, he said.

All those infected are also in the industry, but it remains unclear whether they contracted the illness on- or off-set, he said.

The Free Speech Coalition called for a nationwide filming moratorium this weekend, telling performers to get tested for syphilis and to get penicillin shots before returning to sets. After performers get the shots, they can go back to work within 10 days, said FSC spokeswoman Joanne Cachapero.

Last year, 819 cases of syphilis were reported throughout Los Angeles County, said Fielding. While the number of cases in the porn community may seem small by comparison, Fielding said, “I doubt that the rate of sexually transmitted disease is higher anywhere else.”

Fielding said the county health department is alerting providers that work frequently with porn performers, which are largely located in the San Fernando Valley, to be on the lookout for an increase in syphilis cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis is transmitted through direct contact with syphilis sores, which mainly occur on the external genitals, vagina, anus or inside the rectum.

A single shot of penicillin can cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year, according to the CDC. Additional doses are necessary for people who have had the STD for a longer period.

These porn actors, now cured with a single shot of penicillin, can get right back to work, well, within 10 days, if they are diagnosed.  The question remains:  how do you trace the syphilis outbreak if work involves sex with multiple partners and a private life is unaccounted for? We’re a far cry from the image posted above, as if syphilis is spread only by unclean women who look like nurses.  Of course Blink 182 had the famous album cover of a porn star dressed like a nurse, so maybe the link between the “dirty” aspect of sex and the medical aren’t as far separated as we might like.

Let’s hope the actors get their shot of penicillin and stay healthy.  Porn is a risky business to be involved in…

Enhanced by Zemanta
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: