Sydney Leathers today vehemently denied that she could have been exposed to HIV as part of her porn debut.
The website Gawker yesterday surmised it was possible because Leathers worked with Xander Corvus, who played New York mayoral candidate and serial sexter Anthony Weiner in the Vivid Entertainment film Weiner and Me, a take on 23-year-old Leathers' true-life sexting relationship with the politician:
Corvus recently worked with patient zero, Cameron Bay, in the industry's recently unearthed HIV scare.
The connections are a matter of timing, with Gawker suggesting that it's possible Bay worked during a time she wasn't aware she had HIV, thus possibly exposing the likes of Corvus.
Leathers' agent, Gina Rodriguez, said this in a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets:
The news is falsely reporting Sydney Leathers was exposed to HIV while filming her movie, “Weiner and Me” for Vivid Entertainment.
Of course, most of the news organizations, ours included, have carefully said that, given the chain of performers involved, it's possible but not a certainty. Anything's possible.
And being “exposed” — coming in sexual contact with someone who has the virus — does not always mean you contract HIV.
Rodriguez says that Leathers was not included on a list of possible exposures circulated in the industry and that she has come up negative three times following Bay's revelation.
However, both of those assertions are problematic:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control notes that you can't be 100 percent certain you've not been exposed to HIV during sex until testing negative 90 days after intercourse, sometimes longer:
A few people will have a longer window period, so if you get a negative test result in the first 3 months after possible exposure, you should get a repeat test after 3 months. Ninety-seven percent of people will develop antibodies in the first 3 months after they are infected. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.
And industry blogger Mike South (NSFW link), whose work has been accurate and well-received, says another performer who was definitely in recent sexual contact with Bay is not on any list and has not been notified by the industry of possible exposure.
Leathers herself says in a statement:
I do not have HIV and have not been exposed to HIV regardless of the reports out there saying otherwise. I was not contacted by the Free Speech Coalition to re test, I reached out to them to see if I should re test and was told I did not need to. I took all the necessary precautions before and after my scene for Vivid and acted responsibly and therefore was able to protect myself from exposure to anything. As an added precaution I retested 2 days after my shoot and again yesterday and all tests were negative.
Again, there's no way she would know for sure, though heterosexual transmission of HIV is a relatively rare bird. Good luck to her.