HIV actor lashes porn industry

2010-12-09 12:54
Los Angeles – An actor whose HIV positive test sparked a shutdown of US porn filmmaking in October lashed out on Wednesday at the multi-billion dollar business and an industry clinic for failing to help him.

At an emotional press conference, Derrick Burts, 24, also called for the use of condoms to be mandatory and enforced, saying that regular monthly tests are not enough to keep porn actors safe.

He notably slammed the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), a clinic for performers in the porn industry based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, which he says left him untreated for a month and a half.

"People who are behind the industry, the big shots, they need to come up with a system that works, that protects their performers," said Burts, speaking for the first time since the scare erupted.

Repeatedly breaking down in tears, he added: "This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and they can't reach out when somebody tests positive ... there needs to be more done."

At least four major film producers suspended filming in October while tests were carried out on all the known partners of the actor. Production resumed a few weeks later.

Testing not enough

Burts said he had only worked in the porn industry for seven months before being told during a routine test at the AIM clinic on October 8 that he had contracted HIV, which leads to Aids.

Previously he had worked as a magician on cruise ships travelling around the world, and as a manager for Marriott hotels, he said.

Singling out the San Fernando Valley clinic for criticism, he said: "AIM likes to state that testing is enough to protect the performers from getting STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and HIV.

"That's completely false. Testing doesn't do anything except inform you of what you have, or don't have. The real protection comes from protecting yourself with a condom," he added.

Speaking earlier to the Los Angeles Times: "The fact that there's a lack of condom use in porn, which is a very high risk job, is very dangerous."

"One reason I definitely wanted to speak out was to help other (porn) performers realise the risk that's out there," he added.

Astounded

He was speaking at the headquarters of the Aids Healthcare Foundation, which he said he turned to when AIM failed help him find treatment a month and a half after his postive test.

Its chief Michael Weinstein said his government-funded foundation was not against pornography.

"However, we are astounded that the multi-billion dollar film industry and its fig leaf of a clinic could not even get it together six weeks after his first HIV positive test to link him to appropriate follow-up medical care."

The HIV case was the first in over a year in the industry, and comes six years after up to 14 actors tested HIV positive forcing several film firms to close.

There was no immediate reaction to Burts' comments from the AIM clinic, or major porn filmmaking companies contacted by AFP.

Comments

  • So What? - 2010-12-09 13:02

    Shame you immoral person. You chose to do porn - you shouyld have known the possible consequences - live with it. Don't try and blame others now.

      Bratt - 2011-03-31 09:29

      The woman in the picture seems to be thinking exactly the same thing you are saying.

  • Wimpyburger - 2010-12-09 13:31

    Take responsibilty for your actions, don't blame others, you screwed up. If you play with fire......

  • sbouttell - 2010-12-09 13:33

    Babe, that's like stealing copper cables and not knowing you could be electricuted. YOU chose a high risk profession. YOU willingly participated without using a condom. I guess (considering codoms are not used very often in your industry) that you will not be the only one to test positive.

      Bratt - 2011-03-31 09:31

      actually, it more like working on high voltage electricity without the proper safety gear.

  • Banned - 2010-12-09 13:34

    So he gets AIDS after performing in a gay movie and its the industry that's to blame, his agent told him that there's more money in gay porn and even more if you do it without a condom, dumbass....

      Jannie24 - 2010-12-09 15:52

      yep. more dumbass you will never get.......

  • mangelgolombick - 2010-12-09 14:15

    Yeah dude. It's all their fault. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself and your body. No one else's. Very naive thinking that nothing would have happened.

  • CTS - 2010-12-09 14:25

    So you play in the kitchen, then complain when you get burnt? Why does anyone have to tell you to use a condom when you jump in bed with partner to partner, whom each jumped into bed with a multitude of partners? You're not a baby, are you? Surely not if you make 'adult' movies?

  • goyougoodthing - 2010-12-09 14:36

    Whilst HIV is no laughing matter once again we see the attitude of not taking responsibility for actions. This chap says he had other jobs, clearly he wasn't forced into porn and yet when things go pear shaped, in a dodgy industry with know health risks, he chooses to blame everyone else? Grow up.

  • Jannie24 - 2010-12-09 15:47

    I bet he got his virus cruising somewhere and not on the movi-set. If you fell in a thorn bush arse first; which thorn stuck you where?

  • Jannie24 - 2010-12-09 15:55

    Funny how the "medical group & AIM" now have been finger pointed. He is really stupid. Should have kept his hotel job.

  • Tieneke - 2010-12-09 16:42

    EVERYBODY knows condoms help prevent the Spread of HIV/AIDS, my daughter knew that at age 6! Duh, take responsibility for your own actions and where you stick it in, UNPROTECTED!

  • Vaal Donkie - 2011-03-31 09:23

    Well, I guess in the end HE was the one who got screwed.

  • Ryan - 2011-03-31 13:54

    Shift the paradigm a bit here and see it from his point of view... Say you work in, for example, a mine where you know it's like 2km underground. In the middle of your shift, the whole thing collapses, trapping you and your co-workers. Is it your responsibility to get yourself out since you KNEW the dangers of mining? Without judging him for working in the porn industry, I think his employers should "conduct a mining rescue operation" as the risk of contracting HIV should be carried by the actor AND the employer. Just help the poor guy! He was doing a job - whether morals come into play or not - and was "injured" while on the job.

  • Jackky - 2012-01-11 11:55

    the big shots in the industry have to take responsibility for this..they failed to provide safe working environment for their workers..... they should,ve mandated every actor to wear condom as part of their operational policy.

  • pages:
  • 1