In the aftermath of the latest HIV outbreak it comes to my mind that this whole thing is fucked up.
Proceedurally this just couldn’t have gone more wrong.
AIM exists to give the talent a reasonable expectation of safety. When that expectation was breached the talent, became afraid and wanted to know who the person who tested positive was.
This lead to a lot of speculation, you wouldn’t believe some of the names I was hearing and most of them didn’t even have much basis in fact, not enough to even warrant speculation. It caused some people a lot of grief I’m sure.
In a situation like this I always come down on the side of the talent, hey if you work in this biz when you go test at AIM you give them the right to tell the industry your results, if they don’t the system breaks. If you were on the other end of that you’d want to know who it was as well. If you can’t deal with that don’t do porn.
I can honestly say if it were me I’d have come forward, said yes I tested positive, or yes I was exposed and I wont be working for a a month or so. It’s called responsibility and it’s the right thing to do. Ask John Stagliano, he did it.
It is wrong to yell fire in a crowded theater and endanger peoples lives but is it not equally wrong to sneak out and tell no one when you know the theater is on fire?
In the end, unless we are complete idiots, we need to totally overhaul AIM. Its way past due. If we don’t do it The government will do it for us and we wont like that solution at all.
So lets be serious and put forth some positive suggestions
AIM needs oversight, first and foremost and that oversight should come from a board of directors that consists of mostly health care professionals, real ones, not associated with anyone in porn.
Second Sharon Mitchell must step down, her credibility is lower than that of George W Bush, The whole Doctor thing bit her in the ass, it’s time to fix it.
Third we must start testing not only for HIV but also Hep A and B Hepatitis kills way more people every year than AIDS does. We also must do a full panel, it doesnt matter if 75% of porners have herpes the 25% who don’t have a right to know if the person they are working with does.
Fourth we should be doing both a viral load test for HIV and an antibody test, one without the other is not sufficient. You may say fine South but where will the money come from? I tell you what we can do it a lot cheaper now than it will cost should the county/state get involved…find the money you can pay now or you can pay a lot more later.
Finally we need to implement a system of full disclosure, if someone has been exposed or tests positive everyone must know. The people who were quarantined from the Darren James situation didn’t suffer ant long term bad results. porn people are fine working with you if you test clean for the required length afterward.
Likewise if you do gay porn or have done gay porn (and yes tranny is gay) that should be disclosed as well, it puts you in a higher risk group and your potential partners have the right to know that. If that bothers you don’t sign up to be talent. When you perform in this business you have no private sex life, other peoples lives depend on making informed decisions and if you are hiding things they cant make informed decisions. If you don’t like that tough shit, stay out of the biz.
It’s time that we as an industry reigned ourselves in and started acting in a responsible manner.