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Porn's Syphilis Scare is Bunk, Adult Group Says

Porn's Syphilis Scare is Bunk, Adult Group Says
File photo by Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

That hoopla over a porn star who might have tested positive for syphilis and then possibly exposed 15 others (damn, porn stars really do get around) turned out to be much ado about nothin,' at least according to the adult industry lobbying group known as the Free Speech Coalition.

The organization had been painfully silent since the weekend, when porn blogger Mike South revealed that a performer, later identified as Clover, might have come up positive for the STD:

Today the Free Speech Coalition said that Clover (the group didn't mention him by name) had "confirmatory" tests that came up negative, meaning no syphilis, no outbreak, no big whoop.

See also: Porn STD Scare's Potential Patient Zero ID'd.

We asked the organization if a second battery of tests were performed. The adult talent agency group called Licensed Adult Talent Agency Trade Association (LATATA) said in a statement this week that Clover would undergo such a battery one week from his first tests, which reportedly happened Saturday.

If he did undergo this second battery, this round of confirmatory tests would be a bit early as, according to our reading of the LATATA statement, waiting a week was recommended.

Diane Duke, chief of the Free Speech Coalition, wouldn't answer our question about this directly, repeating only that "confirmatory" tests proved negative.

The performer did take a second test last weekend, and LATATA indicated his weekend tests were "inconclusive."

The Coalition said this in a statement today:

... Two separate confirmatory tests, conducted by the original testing facility for the performer in question show that the patient is negative for syphilis.
Porn's Syphilis Scare is Bunk, Adult Group Says
File photo by Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

The group argues that its performer testing protocol, involving a TrepSure test, is so strict and hardcore that sometimes people turn up positive who aren't. This then triggers the "confirmatory" test.

The Coalition:

From time to time, the test will indicate a positive for syphilis when in fact the patient is negative, which is why APHHS protocols dictate that confirmatory tests are required with a positive TrepSure.

Although the performer reportedly worked for an adult video series, "Reality Kings," known to film mostly in Miami, Duke told us he was in the L.A. area when he was tested.

Most of L.A. county is under a new law, approved by voters in November, mandating condom use in adult productions.

The initiative was spearheaded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which capitalized on the syphilis scare this week to remind the industry of the condom rule.

See also: Porn's Reported Syphilis Scare Has L.A. AIDS Group Concerned.

It called on L.A. county authorities to investigate how the performer could have contracted the STD if condoms are the law.

The Free Speech Coalition had some not-so-kind words (as usual) for the AHF and the media (that's us!). Duke:

Unfortunately AHF has gone on another witch hunt trying to cause a media frenzy by suggesting an 'outbreak' when the performer in question has tested negative. Patient privacy and respect are of utmost importance to us and we encourage responsible reporting rather than the spread of misinformation by rumor mill opportunists who may take this situation as prospect for media attention.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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