The PCR Test Did Not Work In 2004

Anyone familiar with the adult industry remembers the events of April 2004, when one male performer and three females tested positive for HIV. There was a fifth performer at the time who also tested postive but that case was not related to the others.

But how were these cases detected? At this time the standard industry test was the Roche 1.0 Amplicor HIV/PCR/DNA. The male performer came in on a Friday afternoon. I happened to be at the clinic and he, the AIM emplyee and and myself had about a 30 minute conversation, that included talk of the performers recent trip to Brazil with a group of other performers.

The next morning I recieved my usual call from the lab regarding positive std tests(gonnorhea and chlamydia) and was also told that one HIV test needed to be repeated. This was nothing out of the ordinary. On Monday morning I called the lab to inquire about the repeat test and was told that we were probably going to release it as “Indeterminate” and ask for another specimen. At this time I asked who the patient was. When she told me the name I asked to speak with the head of the molecular department immediately. I told the doctor that I knew that this person had recently been to Brazil to perform in adult productions. The doctors first words were, “Oh shit, we have a problem.”

To make a very long story very short, the subtype of the virus that this patient had contracted was one that the Roche 1.0 test was not specifically designed to detect. We took the original specimen, and though it was not the preferred sample type we were able to run and ELISA test on it, and sure enough it showed “Reactive” That original test resutl read, “Indeterminate” but also contained a clause, “Result is not consistant with other available clinical data.” Phone calls were made and everyone was notified that this was very most likely a positive result.

AIM then identified 12 first generation, and about 44 second generation exposures. It was decided that all of these people would be tested using a variety of tests., PCR. Elisa. Western Blot, and specific antigen tests. Only one of the infected females tested positive on the PCR test, and that is because we were using an unconventional method to run the tests, based on what we knew about these particular exposures. All three of the females tested postive on the Elisa and Western blot tests. We had representatives from Roche Diagnostics at our lab assisting us, and later that year Healthline Labs was awarded the Roche Diagnostics Molecular Biology Lab of the Year award for the work we did on this case. Based in large part on the research done at Healthline, the FDA approved the Roche 1.5 kit in May of 2005, a test that had already been in use all over the world. The FDA is notoriously slow in approving new tests.

I have linked to an old article from It talks about a perormer being told she was negative one day, and positive the next. The person being quoted in this article asks, “How can she be negaive on Tuesday and on the same test be positive two days later?” That is because it was not the same test. The PCR test showed “Not Detected” but it was the ELISA test that later showed positive. As is usual in the porn indutry, a whole lot of people who knew very little if nothing at all about the situation were putting this crap out there.

Again, this is a VERY short rehashing of some very complicated events. There are thousands of details that could make this article a mile long, but the gist is, the PCR did not work in 2004, and with performers continuing to go to Brazil, Thailand, and who knows where else, it could very well happen again.

Healthline Labs did not charge AIM for any of the tests done on the Q-List performers. I personally paid for every single q-list test out of my own pocket, not because I a some super compasionate person, but because performers were balking at the additional costs and it was something that just had to be done. AVN later wrote an article that said, “Dozens of companies poured thousands of dollars into AIM.” This is completely false. I showed this article to the bookeeper at AIM, she looked at me and said, “Thats news to me.”

103800cookie-checkThe PCR Test Did Not Work In 2004

The PCR Test Did Not Work In 2004

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12 Responses

  1. Tim; This sounds like a very good article you put together here.
    Thanks for sharing with us all on You and everybody
    knows that our favorite porn industry commentator Rob Black will
    be all over this by either tonight or Monday and talking “shit” about
    all the loser’s on this blog and in the industry about these situations that occurred and he’ll probably say Darrin James is a Homo and got fucked up his ass by a tranny in Brazil like John Stag did and came back and admitted and Darrin didn’t.

    As far as we all know, everybody already in the adult industry already has AIDS and its a matter of days or weeks and “bam” their positive.

  2. @jilted

    Is this why they ran the ELISA at 7,28,90 and will run it 180 days post exposure for friend who was criminally exposed?

    Doc explained some stuff that went over our heads about antigen tests and used the APTIMA 1 & 2 along the way too. Lots of stuff about ruling out different strains that occasionally show up in the US despite being known as African or European. Basically at 90 days he said don’t sweat it cuz she hadn’t shown any acute symptoms but the ELISA at 180 days is definitive.

  3. As a Jew investor in the industry. I don’t give a fuck what type of test as long as the talent show up for work and get the fuck shoot done.

  4. Interesting analysis, Jilted. I know that Talent Testing was advertising that they tested for two strains of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2 for a while (I don’t know if there are any more strains of the virus). Maybe that is part of the solution to this issue. Maybe an ELISA/Western Blot series needs to be run in addition to the PCR-RNA test for all porn performers (Mike South already requires this, the same day test he uses in addition to lab testing is an ELISA based test). I am not an expert in HIV testing but I wanted to throw those ideas out there anyway, your article actually isn’t the first I have read about this issue.

    I do want to second Danny Davis here, this is excellent information. I still don’t think condoms are the answer but hopefully this changes CET’s methodology so the Brazilian strain is covered. Also, what about John Stagliano? If I recall he was likely infected in Brazil by a prostitute, does he have the same strain of HIV as the 2004 infections? We will probably never know for sure but it is a valid question.

    A brief analysis of different strains of HIV.

    A person sent me a link to something written by Ernest Greene is 2005, regarding these events. I have no idea why he made these statements, other than maybe he was misinformed of the situation at the time. I cannot imagine that he would intentionally mislead people, but this is what he said,,,,”The window period of the ELISA is still a minimum of six weeks.(incorrect). All the infected performers last spring were still showing negative on the confiratory Elisa we ran a full month after the PCR-DNA test picked up their infections.” (This is not accurate, the PCR test failed to detect 3 of the four, and they all tested postive on the elisa and western blot at the time of their diagnosis.I never saw these purported elisa test said to have been run a month later, and unless AIM had them performed at another laboratory I am unaware of any of the infected individuals being tested by AIM a month after they were diagnosed, and regardlesss, they all tested postive on the elisa at the time of their intitial diagnosis. I have no idea where he got this misinforation.

  6. AB 1561 the condom bill is being heard tomorrow in Sac town and
    the FSC is sending out a how to write a letter to your legislator and ask that the bill be killed. FSC is teaching the performers and the production people in porn how to write a letter.

    Maybe they need to teach how to put a fucking condom on
    and especially when your out escorting for your rent and grocery money and not catching HIV and those other diseases and
    bringing back to the industry in between your testing dates.

    Remember ladies, if you choose to go for the bill, you will be stalked and harassed by those two Homosexual’s on twitter that are with a
    Las Vegas law firm to stalked and belittle you and make you a real bitch for the Industry.

  7. And once again the FSC barkers are using scare tactics to garner support…unless a performer is the producer of content they are not in any jeopardy for criminal prosecution!

    The bit about health care privacy is bullshit too because the only thing a producer is required to maintain is a record from a licensed healthcare professional that says performer was cleared for work…the same as any other industry. Many industries meet the thirty year requirement by listing the healthcare professional as the custodian of detailed records.

    Right now I’m torn between tearing up the bullshit points the FSC is spouting and calling them out for using “overbroad” on 2257 vs the truth…they want to facilitate child porn.

  8. Not sure if it will be televised, my plan was to head to the California Assembly website and click the link to the hearing room that lets you listen or watch live depending on audio only or video.

  9. There is one more little interesting part of these events from 2004. At the lab we always retained the AIM blood specimens for eight months.
    At the time of these events alot of industry reporters and bloggers, including Mike took AIM to task for what they claimed were wrong timelines, and wrong calculations as to who should be quarantined, how far back the list should go, etc. But these people didnt know that we had months of previous specimens on virtually every person on the q-list, including Roxx,Arroyo, and Dee, along with Darren. I might also note that Darren routinely tested every three weeks for several years, moree often than the industry standard at the time. Darren was one of very few who regularly tested more often than the industry guidelines called for.
    SO, we had all these previous specimens. We pulled those specimens and ran tests on all of them, ELISA tests. Sure enough two of them we were able to get ‘reactive’ results on. Where Ernest Greene got this stuff about negative elisas and positive PCR tests I have no idea. It simply is not true.

    I have spoken to Mike about his reporting of the events in 2004. Of course he had no idea, nor did anyone else, that we were running tests on these old specimens. AIM was never very good at letting people know what they were doing, they lacked heavily in the PR department, and they lacked when it came for standing up for themselves, which was also part of the problem. But the fact is, the entire team involved in 2004, AIM and the lab, did a great job in handling the MEDICAL aspects involved, which is again why the industry politics has to be removed from the MEDICAL needs of performers. Diseases do not have first ammendment rights. Gonnorhea does not know that you are making a porn movie, chlamydia does not know if youre making a porn movie, niether does herpes, HPV, PID,Hepatitis etc. Diseases are not camera shy. The fact that the group that represents PRODUCERS isin charge of the testing program is a joke. The testing system as it is today has nothing to do with healthcare, it is all about a system to help keep the cameras rolling, period, nothing else. Anyone who tells you that a harm reduction program is a first line of defense is one of two things, misinformed, or flat out lying, there is no middle ground here.

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