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August 27, 2012 12:24pm
Manning Up
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

Manning Up by Rich Moreland, August 2012

As tropical storm Isaac prepares to strike the Gulf of Mexico, the adult industry has its own typhoon to deal with: syphilis. It’s always risky to comment on events as they unfold because facts can change overnight, but from my current perspective APHSS and Talent Testing Services, along with conscientious companies like Manwin, Evil Angel, Overboard Video/Blazing Bucks, and Kink.com, are moving quickly to get this outbreak under control. Obviously all performers deserve a safe workplace and peace of mind.

There is another bonus with an effective and timely reaction. The sooner the storm subsides, the less the AIDS Health Foundation’s "I told you so" will resonate in everyone’s ears.

This brings me to a comment on what we know so far. Adult Video News’ Steven Javors reported on August 23 that the mystery performer who carried the infection (at least as we understand the present situation) is now identified as Mr. Marcus. Feeling remorse for his deception, Marcus voluntarily came forward to tell his side of the story. At this time there does not appear to be conclusive evidence that it began with him, but the fact that he admitted his failures in the initial cover-up is important.

With the wrap up of every shoot, performers are immediately unemployed. Fear of income loss is worrisome and, needless to say, performers want to be ready to go when the next shoot is scheduled. From this standpoint Mr. Marcus’s actions are understandable; he believed (or hoped) his personal situation was of no danger to anyone.

Yet when everyone’s health is at risk all talent, regardless of personal concerns, must hold the collective health of their fellow performers sacred.

According to AVN, Mr. Marcus concealed part of his full testing panel, though in his own mind he believed he was safe to work. In fact, he had visited a private physician who assured him accordingly.

"I was treated. I allowed the medicine to take effect, and I wanted to proceed as normal," he told AVN.

The story at this point becomes muddled as Talent Testing was drawn into the situation. Test results were suspicious and on an Overboard Video set doubts were cast about Marcus’s paperwork. Eventually he was forced to own up to his subterfuge in concealing his syphilis results.

"I tried to cover it up. I didn't want to have to share that part (of the test) because it was like the Scarlet Letter," he said, indicating he did feel guilty about the misrepresentation and wanted to "make sure that the people I worked with got tested."

Kudos to Mr. Marcus, does anyone remember Marc Wallace and HIV almost 15 years ago?

I understand the side of this issue that insists that regardless of his shame, it remains that Mr. Marcus worked with test results he tried to suppress and he can hardly claim to be a hero. If the plan to protect performers is to work, personal honesty must be top priority.

Mr. Marcus concedes that he is an important face in the industry and he let people down. I agree and congratulate him all the more for his admission. He did not extend the lie as is so easy to do, stringing everyone along until the situation implodes.

But will he work again? I hope so because he manned-up and stepped forward. He fully realized the severity of the outbreak and he knew what he had to do. When the health of others is impacted, we must are well served to remember Mr. Marcus' story.

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