Contact tracing and widespread testing in porn industry could be a model for how to reopen country from coronavirus – The Sun

THE porn industry can show the way in how widespread testing and contact tracing can help businesses reopen safely after the coronavirus lockdown, experts say.

Adult performers are regularly tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to get clearance to work under a strict regime that some say offers a model for halting a second wave of Covid infections.

The Performer Availability Scheduling Services (PASS) system was set up by the mainstream US porn studios in the late 1990s after an outbreak of HIV threatened to put them out of business.

Thanks to the scheme there has not been a single instance of on-set transmission of HIV since 2004, according to a spokesman.

All porn stars have to undergo testing at least every two weeks or they will not be allowed on set.

And if any actor tests positive for HIV, all sets are shut until everyone that performers has come into contact with is traced and re-tested.

“I don’t think I could be in this industry without it. That would be insane," Lance Hart, a gay and straight porn star and producer in Las Vegas told Stat News.

“Bareback sex with strangers 20 times a month? It would be like the most dangerous job in the world.”

A single positive test of less deadly infections such as chlamydia does not require a total shutdown, but doctors say they can quickly identify local clusters and halt the spread.


Porn studios are shut during the lockdown, but bosses are looking at additional safety measures for when they can reopen such as sanitizing surfaces.

Trade association The Free Speech Coalition says its is well placed to deal with the crisis as its PASS system has become a well oiled machine over two decades.

It is exactly the sort of widespread testing regime that public health experts say is needed to get a grip on the spread of coronavirus.

And they have successfully tackled problems such as keeping test data private and secure.

Dr Ashish Jha, director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute, told Stat News: "In many ways, what they are doing is a model for what we are trying to do with Covid.

"The adult film industry teaches us that as a proof of concept, this can work. We just have to scale it up."

Free Speech spokesman Mike Stabile said the porn industry has a lot to teach the CDC and the rest of America about keeping workplaces safe.

But he said no one in authority has aproached them to learn from their experience.

He told DailyMail.com: "I would recommend that they do so, but we’re fairly stigmatized industry and I think they might be embarrassed.

"They shouldn’t be, because this is something we know so much about.

"We try to separate morals and politics in that discussion because the more those play a part, the less effective the recommendations are going to be."


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