KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Some adult film stars in the UK are choosing to refrain from filming following reports of a syphilis outbreak in Europe.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which although can be cured easily with antibiotics, can still trigger life-threatening issues if left untreated.
Its symptoms are mild and difficult to spot.
According to a report by Independent, PASS, a company that runs a database of sexual health certificates for US adult actors, said that they were informed of a multiple positive syphilis tests among porn stars in Europe.
PASS, who has issued their warning on syphilis on a global resource portal for adult industry workers last week also stated that sexual health testing is not standardised in the adult entertainment industry in Europe.
“PASS does not officially operate in Europe, and has limited access to European studios and labs. “As such, we do not have the relationships necessary to call for or effectively manage a production hold.
“However, individual performers, creators and studios may want to consider halting production on their own until the extent of the risk is known,” it said in the statement.
Former adult star actor now teaching sex education, Lianne Young, told Independent that some adult actors in the UK are worried following reports of a syphilis outbreak in Europe.
The 47-year-old who left the adult film industry two decades ago said that eight professional adult film performers have stopped working due to the growing concerns on syphilis.
“They have halted films they were lined up to shoot. Professional performers with big profiles are terrified.
“They are losing lots of money. A major alert has gone out in Europe. Porn producers and performers operate on a transatlantic basis so STIs can cross borders.”
She added that, despite concerns of a syphilis breakout, there are still many, however, who are still filming.
Sexual health checks among porn stars in UK are considerably lesser than in Europe due to the porn industry being better regulated in Europe.
“So rules dictate people have to be checked regularly in Europe. In Europe, they are tested around every seven days or at worst every 14 days.
“In the UK, most porn actors test themselves for STIs every 28 days. They are tested for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and hepatitis in NHS sexual health clinics,” Young said.
Following concerns on syphilis, the former adult film star also expressed that there’s been a rising call for a union to be established for the UK’s adult film industry.
“People have been asking for a union for a couple of years but now it has gone too far.
“Porn stars are real human beings. There needs to be a union to be a bridge to connect up with Public Health England and the police. It would allow better regulation and better support and safety,” she said.
The idea of a union for adult stars was also supported by entrepreneur and former adult star agent, Jason Maskell, who has been involved with the adult industry for over 20 years.
“This is a live situation being monitored and discussed on a daily basis by those in the industry. We need to create a union to offer education and support for all.
“The adult industry has changed over the years, with more people coming into it, to benefit from the revenue it can create, but we have to keep professional standards up.”
According to data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis cases have gone up by 26 per cent in the US from 2020 to 2021.
The preliminary data also showed that there has been a 24 per cent increase in congenital syphilis which can be passed to foetuses and could result in birth defects or deaths.