FSC Issues Statement on Performer Health, PASS System

FSC Issues Statement on Performer Health, PASS System
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition today issued a press release making clarifications about performers, the PASS system and HIV.

The PASS system is the screening service administered by the adult entertainment trade organization to provide performers and producers with a reliable protocol and database for STI testing.

The FSC said the following:

Last night a group of people on social media called for the release of the name of the performer who tested HIV positive in April, after an off-set transmission.

An HIV diagnosis can be a heavy burden, and even though the infection was not industry related and posed no risk to the performer pool, the performer received and will continue to receive the utmost care and concern from the trade association. They are no longer active in PASS.

FSC does not and will not ever disclose legal names of performers, and would never violate their medical privacy.  Revealing personal medical information about individuals without their consent is both immoral and is conduct which very appropriately  results in civil liability.

We will continue to guard that performer’s privacy, despite calls to out them. We have watched, angry, as the same people calling to out the performer have shamed sex workers, peddle in gross HIV stigma, and willingly perpetuated false information using bad science and dubious conspiracy theories. We have seen them harass other industry members who disagree with them.

FSC has always encouraged discussions with industry members, particularly around performer health. But we will not meet with those who harass, stigmatize, attack, and try to harm members of our industry.

FSC welcomes the industry’s input into the PASS system, especially the input of active performers who use the system. But any changes to the protocols must always be based in medical science, and done in concert with the PASS Advisory Board. PASS has successfully prevented HIV transmission on compliant sets for over a decade, and that success can be credited to always choosing facts over fear. 

There have been huge advancements in the science of HIV prevention in the past several years. Those with HIV are being blocked from spreading the virus via medication, and those who are negative can now use similar medications to avoid contracting it. Since a lower incidence of HIV in the general population means off-set risk declines as well, this should be celebrated within the industry as good news. 

Unfortunately, those advances have paradoxically lead to anti-science arguments that people with HIV might use medication to disguise their status to sneak into the PASS system. That is not based in reality. 

Addressing a few of the false or misleading statements:

  • There are no HIV positive performers somehow working undercover in the PASS performer pool. In addition to RNA testing, any performer who has ever received a positive test, even a false positive test, is subjected to additional testing in form of a 4th generation antibody and antigen test. Performers with a confirmed positive test can not participate in PASS, regardless of treatment status.
  • HIV is not immediately contagious after a person is exposed. HIV usually has an eclipse period of about 10 days. The eclipse period describes the time it takes from infection until the virus becomes transmissible to another person. 
  • PASS relies first on the HIV RNA qualitative test because it has a window period of 7-14 days. The window period describes the time it takes from infection until the test can detect the infection with some certainty. Fourth-generation Antibody/Antigen tests, as some have called for, have a longer window period of up to 18 days.
  • The current PASS protocol that requires being tested for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and tTrichomoniasis within 14 days prior to a shoot have an excellent track record. In 2013 the protocols were changed from 28 days to 14 days to increase risk reduction.
  • FSC has, for more than 12 months, been working on adding swabbing to the industry testing protocols to further increase risk reductions. The only clinics affiliated to the PASS system are CET, TTS and their medical directors.

For over 25 years, FSC has been and continues to be committed to the health and well-being of the extraordinary people who make up the adult industry, and as a lifelong HIV prevention advocate, I share that commitment.

Productive discussion is always welcome, but I will not engage with those who traffic in hate, fear, threats or conspiracy.

If you would like to add to the conversation please get in touch with us at info@freespeechcoalition.com.

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