Continuing Education for Porn Stars

As a lawyer, I’m expected to accumulate 45 hours of continuing education in the State of Washington and 25 hours in California.  I’m sure every State Bar in this country has similar requirements of its members.  I know that many other professions require continuing education for their members as well, such as doctors and accountants.  Although much of it, in my opinion, is an income-producing tool for the Board or organization, it’s a means to self-police the membership and maintain some standards in the particular field.

Well, after reading a recent article, I think the porn industry should require continuing education of its actors.  Obviously, they’re not too bright and in desperate need of remedial help.

Derrick Burts, 24, who performs in gay films as Derek Chambers, is the subject of an article entitled “HIV-Positive Porn Actor Calls for Condom Use in Adult Films.”  He apparently was previously known as “Patient Zeta” who, in September tested negative but, a month later, tested positive at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks, CA.  All the actors he “worked” with since September were to be placed on a quarantine list and would also be tested.  When he returned for a follow-up test, the clinic traced his HIV-infection to someone with whom he had “performed” a scene and who was described as a “known positive.”  The clinic wouldn’t identify the performer because of “patient confidentiality.”  Clinic personnel now say he acquired the virus through private, personal activity although he claims the only person he had sex with in his personal life was his girlfriend and she’d tested negative.

I think the most absurd statement in the article is from Burts himself.  He wishes he had known more about the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases in the industry and is calling for mandatory condom use in porn films.  Can you believe this guy?

First of all, where’s he been living?  On another planet?  Other than hooking on the streets of Hollywood, Burts has been working in the most dangerous high risk profession and he didn’t know the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases?  Is he kidding?  And what about his girlfriend?  She’s having sex with him while he’s having sex with any number of people in gay films?  What’s she thinking?  Did they skip their sex education classes in school?

Hasn’t either of them ever read a newspaper, magazine, book or billboard promoting safe sex?  The home page of the AIM Healthcare Foundation’s own website says its purpose is “to provide health care for the body, mind, emotion, and spirit, as well as to take a leadership position in promoting safe and responsible sexual behavior, not only for the adult entertainment industry, but for everyone.”  I guess Burts doesn’t have access to the internet.

I wrote about this insanity a few weeks ago when Elton John was asking for, yet, more money from our government for AIDs.  In that article, I mentioned that, out of the 41,087 new cases of AIDS tracked in 2008, only 187 resulted from non-sexual contact.  How does anyone on this planet not know that AIDs can be prevented by using condoms?  It’s truly mind-boggling.

I’m still shaking my head after reading what Burts told the Los Angeles Times reporter. “Making $10,000 or $15,000 for porn isn’t worth any life.  Performers need to be educated.”  I’m very glad I wasn’t conducting the interview because there’s no way I could’ve sat there with a straight face and, no doubt, would’ve blurted out, “you’re kidding, right?”

And what about the industry itself?  Believe me, I’m no expert in the field, but why haven’t the actors been required to use condoms and why aren’t the women demanding their use?  What I’ve found out is that the industry believes it has “built-in safeguards” to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDs by requiring monthly testing.  I never could understand that reasoning because anything could happen between Day #1 and Day #30.  The industry believes that requiring condoms would force the industry underground and out of California.

Being an occupational hazard, the issue has been taken up by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health which voted to create an advisory committee.  (No wonder California is bankrupt.)  Typical government.  Create a advisory committee, then ask for a study, then have another agency review the study, then bring it back to the committee for recommendations, and then…. and then…. Can’t anyone make a decision without a committee?

I don’t get this Burts guy.  Is he as dumb as dirt, or what?  And I really don’t get his girlfriend, who must be even dumber than he is.  I certainly don’t get the porn industry which puts every one of its “actors” at risk on a daily basis, and I definitely don’t get why California’s DOSH doesn’t just make condoms mandatory.

Instead, we have people like Elton John crying for more money on top of the already billions of dollars allocated and spent on this disease and its prevention when all anyone has to do is not share intravenous needles and use a condom.  Rather than spending tax dollars to “educate” these numbnuts, I think, like I do, the actors, who consider themselves professionals, should have to pay for their own continuing education.

Like I said, I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.