A Los Angeles-based porn star says he regrets hiding his test positive test results for syphilis from a producer.
An STD scare recently shut down the porn industry temporarily so that the actors could be tested.
You may not have plans to star in a professional, amateur, for that matter, porn film, but knowing your health status and that of your partner(s) is something that simply cannot be left to chance, health professionals say.
“Mr. Marcus’ apology reminds us all that some things you just can’t apologize your way out of,” relationship and sexual health expert Dr. Rachael Ross posted on her Facebook page when the news broke.
“I hope the industry considers having a centralized group of clinics do their testing,” she wrote in another post. “The verified results could be instantly obtained online. I guarantee that he is not the first nor the last to falsify STD results.”
The actor, known as Mr. Marcus, told Adult Video News (AVN), a trade industry publication, that he learned in July that he had tested positive for syphilis and was given a penicillin shot and told to abstain from sex for 7 to 10 days.
Another test, 11 days after receiving the shot, showed Mr. Marcus still had syphilis in his system, but he went on to shoot a sex scene.
The producer did not check the Talent Testing Service (TTS) database, which would have flagged the actor’s status. Instead, Mr. Marcus showed the producer a copy of the test results on his cell phone, but covered up the part that showed the results for syphilis.
“I showed that my HIV was clear, my gonorrhea and chlamydia were fine,” he told AVN. “You didn’t see the syphilis part of the test because of the way I showed it.”
Mr. Marcus, who admitted he hid results from another director, said he finally came forward after reports surfaced last week of a syphilis outbreak among porn performers, prompting a 10-day halt in filming so more than 1,000 actors could get tested.
Mr. Marcus’ screen partners tested negative for syphilis, but the Associated Press reported there were at least nine other cases of syphilis.
Health professionals encourage all Americans, particularly black Americans, to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), to know their status and to ask current and potential partners about their health status as well.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual report last year, black and Hispanic Americans have a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases than white Americans.
Black Americans represent just 14 percent of the population but 35 percent of all reported chlamydia cases, 48 percent of all syphilis cases and 69 percent of gonorrhea cases. Among young black men, the rate of syphilis increased 134 percent from 2006 to 2010.
STDs account for 19 million new infections annually, for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis alone, according to the CDC.
Left untreated, these diseases can lead to blindness, infertility, complications during pregnancy and, in extreme cases, death. Consequences from the diseases can be passed on from mother to infant at birth.
Further, the World Health Organization last month reported it is urging governments and physicians to step up their monitoring of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. The CDC has recommended physicians’ use a combination of protocols to treat the disease because there is currently just one antibiotic treatment that is effective against the most drug-resistant strain. Other treatments are recommended for milder forms of the disease so that they, too, will not become resistant to antibiotic treatment.
Because of a high rate of prior exposure to STDS, black Americans have a weaker resistance to HIV/AIDS and are urged to get tested for STDs, including HIV, as part of routine physicals and to take extra precautions in practicing safer sex. The CDC also urges Baby Boomers to get tested for possible exposure to hepatitis C, which can be transmitted a number of ways, including sexually. Boomers are at higher risk for the disease and because there are fewer symptoms initially, the disease may be in an advanced stage when diagnosed.