Experts Say Porn Industry Offers Lessons on Dealing With COVID-19

LOS ANGELES—The adult industry may serve as an example about safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports a new article from STATNews. In the May 8 article, writer Usha Lee McFarling examines the adult industry’s lessons from the HIV outbreaks which have temporarily closed down sets and threatened the porn business for weeks at a time over the years. “Since the late 1990s, when an outbreak of HIV infections threatened to shutter the multibillion-dollar industry, the mainstream porn community has implemented procedures that require all performers to be tested for HIV and a host of other sexually transmitted infections every 14 days before they can be cleared to work. Any HIV-positive test leads to an immediate shutdown of all U.S. sets, followed by detailed contact tracing before sets can reopen,” McFarling wrote. With the advent of AIM Healthcare and its successor, Performer Availability Screening Services (PASS), the industry has helped protect thousands of adult performers while ensuring safer workplaces and curtailing the spread of disease. “I don’t think I could be in this industry without it. That would be insane. Bareback sex with strangers 20 times a month? It would be like the most dangerous job in the world,” said adult performer Lance Hart. In the article, Dr. Ashish Jha, who directs Harvard University’s Global Health Institute and has been calling for widespread national testing to contain the coronavirus said he is encouraged by the industry’s response to the need for heath testing. “The adult film industry teaches us that as a proof of concept, this can work. We just have to scale it up,” he told McFarling. He explained that he could envision a program similar to PASS where COVID-19 test results are put into a secure database that could verify whether people had recently tested negative for the virus. “You could imagine TSA verifying someone had tested negative before they were allowed on a flight,” he said. But repeat testing will be necessary for COVID-19, because—like with HIV—asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus is a real danger, said Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington who directs the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Adult performer Lotus Lain said she understands how others could learn from the adult industry, asserting that the porn sets she works on are extremely clean and that precautions are taken to limit infectious disease risk. “All of the things people are looking for right now—gloves, masks, alcohol wipes—we have all those things on sets. It’s standard operating procedure,” she said. “I hope other industries look to our industry not just to learn, but to credit us as well.” But testing for coronavirus could be trickier than testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, said Angela Bazzi, an assistant professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. “In HIV, we saw this progression of tests that took decades, and there are still new tests being developed,” Bazzi said. “With coronavirus, there are still a lot of unknowns with testing.” To read the full STATNews article, click here. Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay

written by: Allen Smithberg

source: Experts Say Porn Industry Offers Lessons on Dealing With COVID-19 | AVN