In 1996 I remember hearing about this boxer named Tommy Morrison testing positive for HIV. Back in his day, he was a big deal. He had won 48 of 52 professional fights and also held the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title.
When he tested positive for HIV in 1996 his career was over.
Now you might be asking why I am telling a story about some guy from more than 20 years ago, well it’s because if you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat it.
In 1988 the Nevada Athletic Commission began requiring HIV testing. It was a new thing back then, but it was an important step in athlete safety, because of the common exchange of bodily fluid during a fight, just like we have in porn.
Tommy Morrison always denied having HIV, even after testing positive for it. It was important to him for some reason that the world didn’t see him as this guy with HIV – so much so that he stopped his treatment which many believe led to his death years later because his HIV turned to full-blown AIDS.
In 1999 Morrison went to rehab, 3 years after having tested positive for HIV (or so everyone thought). Although it had only been a few years, by then he was well out of the public eye and to be honest, forgotten by most people. The counselor doing his intake wrote that “He claims that he was first told he was HIV positive in 1989. He hid this from nearly everyone until 1996 when it was discovered and made public. At that time he was forced to stop his professional boxing career. He believes he got his HIV from injecting steroids.”
When Morrison’s ex-wife, Dawn Brady, was questioned for the lawsuit in a sworn deposition on April 21st, she said that he had told her in 2000 that he tested positive for HIV in 1989 when he got checked out as part of the screening for a life insurance policy.
So how did he go from not getting caught in a required yearly exam for 7 years (1989-1996)?
That’s the part that should scare every adult performer out there. Because the how-to of it all can mean the difference between life and death.
Some people say HIV isn’t that big of a deal anymore but they are idiots. While treatable, medical costs are often exorbitant.
One man living with HIV since 2006 said, “People need to understand that our bodies are not meant to be medicated against a chronic illness every single day it not only cost us physically but financially whether we have insurance or not.“
The typical HIV treatment prices can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, depending on which regimen you are currently on.
Because the cost of HIV is so high it is estimated that over half of people living with HIV are not receiving regular healthcare.
Let me ask you this, do you have an extra $2,000 to $5,000 a month to spend on trying to stay alive if you get HIV?
HIV is what they call an opportunistic infection. This means it looks for any opportunity to take advantage of an opportunity not normally available, such as a host with a weakened immune system, an altered microbiota (such as a disrupted gut flora), or breached integumentary barriers.
Now while the CDC and the FSC may be quick to tell you that a person with “undetectable viral load” cannot transmit the virus – there are a lot of things they aren’t telling you.
Their theme song is “If you can’t detect it, you can’t transmit it.”
What this means is, if while taking your medication the viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, prevents sexual HIV transmission.
But there’s a catch.
I mean come on, you had to know there is always a catch.
It’s not 100%. There is still a chance.
If you’re HIV positive with an undetectable viral load, there is a negligible risk of HIV transmission.
In other words, it’s not likely but yes technically still possible. There is still some risk. It may be a low risk, but it’s a risk nonetheless.
Now read this part of the report —
Low risk refers to activities of which there have been a few reports of HIV transmission, but these are usually due to specific circumstances like the breaking of a condom.
Like the breaking of a condom.
So now they are saying the low risk of transmission is in part due to the fact that they are using condoms, which in itself makes it a low risk of transmission.
So that means the risk is increased if you are having sex with an HIV positive person and not wearing a condom.
Now let me ask you this … when is the last time you’ve watched a porno where a condom was used?
Beyond that, there are other things that can increase the risk. Even though you are taking your medication, it’s important you take it every day. What if you accidentally miss a dose or two or three? With every missed dose, that risk of transmission increases. So can you be 100% sure the person you are with who is HIV positive didn’t miss a single dose?
And what about illness? Sorry to be gross here, but who here has ever eaten something their stomach didn’t agree with? If you get diarrhea and this causes you to pass that next treatment?
Thanks to this disrupted gut flora, your immune system is now compromised. While your body is busy fighting that, what about your HIV? Now that negligible risk suddenly becomes a little higher. Those 200 copies become 500 and then 1,000 and then 10,000. Now that small almost impossible risk of transmission becomes very much a reality.
But when they took their HIV test 2 weeks ago, they were fine. They didn’t have intestinal inflammation due to something bad they ate or any reason whatsoever that their immune system might have gotten compromised.
What if they cut their finger while cooking and get a low-grade fever? Ever have that happen? It’s something small but common that happens to everybody. That low grade fever us your bodies immune system ramping up to fight off a possible infection.
There are so many ways that your body needs to focus on one thing instead of another temporarily that can cause disruptions that while two weeks ago or 30 days ago, when you took your HIV test, didn’t exist and you were fine on that day.
But today is a different day. Today your body is busy fighting off a cold or stress or even excessive alcohol.
Drinking too much alcohol can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs and produces an overall nutritional deficiency. Physicians have long observed that excessive alcohol consumption can lead not only to liver damage but also to increased illness and death from infectious diseases.
So now you have an HIV positive porn star who isn’t using a condom, testing fine 14 days ago but could have any of a number of other issues during the next 14 days that you might have to shoot with him or her and you hope that he or she also didn’t get shit faced drunk during that time.
I mean even something as simple as not drinking enough water can cause your body’s immune system to go out of whack.
Dehydration weakens the body’s overall immune system and leads to chemical, nutritional and pH imbalances. So if your body is busy dealing with your drunk, dehydrated ass, how can it also have time to deal with your HIV issue as best as it possibly could?
Are you willing to take these risks?
Apparently, the FSC has no problem letting you. Because if the rumors are true, the FSC is right now considering allowing HIV positive performers to work in porn again.
How is that okay?
HIV clinics will tell you that your health must be optimized. Just taking your meds aren’t enough. You need to eat right, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated and exercise.
It’s the only way to ensure they aren’t putting their partners at risk.
While studies show that HIV is not likely transmittable while the patient has undetectable viral loads, doctors will still encourage undetectable patients to practice safe sex. This means they still encourage the use of condoms and PrEP therapy.
So that means the only way you can truly be safe when it comes to having sex with an HIV positive person is ensure they are taking their medicines are prescribed, and they are living a healthy lifestyle. Then on your part, use a condom and take PrEP therapy.
Can you say that is happening right now in porn?
You know it’s not.
Name an adult movie you’ve seen that has been shot with condoms. Can you? I can’t think of a single one except for those from Wicked.
Why would the FSC approve of HIV people being allowed to work again in porn? I have no idea.
Why would the FSC say those porn performers have approved of the recent removal of lows around HIV nondisclosure?
When did anyone have a meeting and say that?
I know if I am about to have sex with some guy, I want to know if he is HIV positive. Wouldn’t you?
Anything less than 100% honesty is not okay with me.
Hello, my name is Kelli Roberts. I am a published author, AVN nominated producer, and webmaster who has worked in the adult industry since August of 1996.