19 May 2024
Lessons against Covid-19 from the American porn industry 2

Lessons against Covid-19 from the American porn industry 2

As American companies look for ways to protect employees during Covid-19, experts suggest a model few think of: the porn industry.

Those working in this particular field overcame the HIV epidemic in the late 1990s, which nearly caused the multi-billion dollar industry to close.

`We can actually learn a lot about epidemic prevention rules from porn producers,` said Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the school of public health at Rutgers University.

Porn star Maitland Ward.

The porn industry uses a nationwide program called PASS – Actor Screening Scheme, which requires actors to be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases every 14 days.

`We have to overcome the fear that this measure is coming from the porn industry,` said Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The porn industry, which has been largely shut down since March 15, last week published guidance on how to return to work.

`We are considering measures to test for nCoV, check body temperature, wear masks on set when not filming or for fixed pairs of actors to film together,` he said.

`To prevent HIV, we use a highly sensitive PCR-RNA test, which can detect the virus within 7-10 days after infection,` he said.

But Covid-19 is transmitted through droplets when coughing or even talking, not having sex.

If an infection is detected, the production team of that movie must stop completely.

In 1998, when the HIV epidemic broke out in the adult film industry, actor Marc Wallice contracted the virus but faked negative results and infected several actresses.

Sharon Mitchell, a former porn actress with a doctorate in sexuality, founded the Adult Film Industry Medical Care organization that year, formalizing the regulations that eventually became PASS

`I only work with teams that apply PASS,` says porn star Maitland Ward.

`Medical screening is normal for us. I think the porn industry is in a better position to fight the epidemic than many mainstream filmmaking industries or other industries,` Ward said.

Jha agrees with this idea.

In the adult film industry, people who test negative will have a green tick appear next to their name.

Producers rely on this symbol to cast actors.

Jha understands that if the model is used for Covid-19, not everyone will want to be tested and there may be false negatives because Covid-19 has an incubation period of 5-7 days.

`If Delta or American Airlines said ‘you have to get tested to show us you don’t have nCoV’, you would feel safer flying on that airline,` Jha said.

Robert Gallo, one of the discoverers of HIV in the 1980s and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, emphasized that `HIV and nCoV are very different viruses and comparing them is very illogical.`

However, he believes that `learning from the porn industry’s model to fight nCoV is worth considering`.

`We need to use whatever tools are available, even those from the porn industry, and apply measures that work to limit the spread of nCoV,` Halkitis said.

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