APHSS issued the following statement today for publication:
CANOGA PARK, Calif.–Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS.org) would like to update the current developments with syphilis testing and treatments for adult performers.
APHSS.org has implemented exposure protocols due to the recent incident involving performers who have tested positive for syphilis. Nearly 300 performers have been tested and treated for syphilis since August 22. These include performers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, FL and other locations nationwide.
“We would like to thank the performers and producers for their quick response to the protocols and for their cooperation,” said FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “This situation might have resulted in even more serious repercussions if there was no program like APHSS to step in with protocols for follow-up care with doctors and, ultimately, testing and treatment. We are encouraged by the proactive action of performers and producers—with their support for the testing/treatment protocols, we have significantly minimized risk for performers.”
Testing/treatments continue to be offered this week. These developments follow reports of a widespread syphilis outbreak in Prague and Budapest, which coincide with alleged exposures here in the U.S.
Los Angeles County Public Health Department (LACPH) has stated that there are at least nine adult performers that have tested positive for syphilis, but so far APHSS.org has reported only two performers with positive results—one in Los Angeles and the other outside of California. Without data to identify any additional positive cases, the APHSS doctors network decided that preventative treatment with antibiotics was the best course to take, in order to minimize risk for exposure for performers.
“Because of the possibility of additional positive results from non-APHSS providers, after consulting with our team of doctors, it was clear that the only responsible course of action was to call a production moratorium and to follow that with testing and treatment,” Duke added.
Performer and APHSS Committee Member Danny Wylde also offered his opinion on the importance of performers to comply with the current syphilis testing/treatment protocols.
“I defend the testing and treatment protocols proposed by APHSS, including the production moratorium and prophylactic antibiotic treatment,” Wylde said. “For those who rely on performing as their primary means of income, there has been no proposed alternative to the APHSS protocol that addresses both the syphilis exposure as a concern and considers the reality that performers need to make a living.
“Many performers claim to have received medical advice from their personal physician to not accept prophylactic penicillin without explicit knowledge of infection,” Wylde added. “I cannot recommend that anyone disregard advice from their doctor. However, a performer's personal physician has not been asked to address a community health threat to the adult performer population.”
Wylde concluded, “I respect one's right to forego antibiotic treatment and wait out the 90-day incubation period for syphilis, but to return to work without treatment—and without knowledge of who has been exposed—is dangerous.”
Currently, all performers signed up for the APHSS database have been made “unavailable” for work. Data is being compiled that will track the ten-period after each performer has been treated; at that point, they will be marked “available” for work with a clean panel.
For more information on current developments or APHSS.org, email Joanne Cachapero at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (818) 348-9373.