opinion

A Private Issue?

Stephen Yagielowicz
While I try not to beat up on the online adult industry or any of its individual players, today I read something that made me shake my head in disbelief; a statement in our article covering the recent GAYVN Summit:

“When the question of HIV testing for the gay industry came up, [Lucas Entertainment’s Michael Lucas] supported the performers’ right to discreet disclosure, saying, ‘I really think it’s wrong to ask for this paper because it’s a private issue.’”

Now I’m not trying to single Lucas out, as he’s not the only one to take this stance, but the quote was attributed to him. A quote, I might add, which is one of the most insane things I’ve ever read.

“A private issue” is when you ask a girl her weight.

It’s not “a private issue” when you ask someone that you’re about to have unprotected sex with whether or not doing so will kill you – especially when you’re talking about ‘bareback’ gay sex – one of the riskiest sexual behaviors you can engage in…

I don’t really know what else to say about this; I simply can’t understand what these people are thinking. Beyond that, I don’t understand why some even consider it a choice, given the level of interest OSHA is showing in the production arena.

I know that the results of an AIDS test are only valid until the next time you have sex and aren’t a perfect means of ensuring performer safety; but they provide a minimum level of due diligence and care for performers.

The bottom line is that “proof” of a person’s HIV-negative status is cause for celebration; the only time it becomes an issue of “privacy” is if you have something to hide – and that can only mean one thing: you’ve got the virus – and since “life isn’t fair” you figure that you’re entitled to take as many folks with you as you can. You gotta make a living, right?

It’s time our industry used some common sense – and requiring proof of a performer’s current HIV status is a step in the right direction; however ‘flawed’ the process might be. Remember, it’s not the responsible folks we need to protect ourselves from…