After a meeting yesterday with L.A. County Public Health (LACPH) officials, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke and Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS.org) representatives have received confirmation that nine as-yet-unidentified adult performers have tested positive for syphilis.
Dr. Peter Kerndt, who is the Director of STI Programs for the County, informed Duke of the positive test results for adult performers. However, he refused to share any of the patient information with APHSS doctors, saying only that they had been reported to the County.
Kerndt also confirmed that the point of origin for the syphilis exposures has not been identified. According to Duke, only one of the two performers confirmed as positive through APHSS is part of group of nine identified by LACPH; presumably, performer Mr. Marcus, who has since gone public with positive syphilis test results. Kerndt indicated that there were positive tests for performers that likely preceded Mr. Marcus’ positive test.
Since the other of the two positive results (confirmed by APHSS) occurred outside of the state of California this would mean that, between LACPH findings and the findings of APHSS, there could be up to ten performers total that may have tested positive for syphilis.
“This latest development only confirms the need for APHSS.org as a single, comprehensive source of performer data for adult production. Had the first performer who tested positive for syphilis been reported by their healthcare provider in a timely manner to APHSS, partner notification and positive performer separation would have occurred quickly enough to reduce the likelihood of transmission and perhaps the need for a moratorium,” Duke said after the meeting.
At one point during yesterday’s meeting, the APHSS doctor was asked by Dr. Kerndt to hand over patient records – including production records – for the two performers that tested positive for syphilis, as well as patient records for all performers that have tested and received treatment for syphilis through APHSS since the production moratorium was called. Both Duke and the APHSS doctor, present at the meeting, refused to comply with this request citing respect for patient privacy.
In line with APHSS.org protocols, as well as state and local regulations, all testing facilities affiliated with APHSS.org have and will report any positive STI test results to the county health department.
“Performer privacy is a top priority for APHSS,” Duke said. “We will cooperate as much as possible with County Health officials – but only with the permission of these affected individuals, if they would like to come forward. If those individuals choose to release their information to the County, either through their medical providers or direct communication, that is their decision. APHSS providers are expected to, and do, fulfill all reporting requirements to the County. We hope to facilitate a cooperative working environment with County health officials, but will not compromise performer patient privacy.”