Diane Duke: If performers had come forward to the Free Speech Coalition earlier, there may not have been a need to ask adult film production to shut down

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from www.dailynews.com – A trade group representing the largely San Fernando Valley-based adult film industry said in a statement Tuesday that they can confirm that nine performers have tested positive for syphilis.

Diane Duke, executive director for the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition, said in a statement that she met with Los Angeles County public health officials Monday to confirm that nine adult performers tested positive. However, no one was identified, Duke said in the statement.

The Free Speech Coalition runs a program called Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS.org) that requires adult film performers to test for HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia every 28 days, and for syphilis twice a year.

Facilities affiliated with APHSS.org are mandated by state law to report any positive sexually transmitted test results to the county health department. Only two people, however, have come forward to the Free Speech Coalition saying they have tested positive for syphilis. One of those doesn’t work in California and may not be among the nine confirmed by the public health department, Duke said.

Duke said that if performers had come forward to the Free Speech Coalition earlier, there may not have been a need to ask adult film production to shut down. The Free Speech Coalition issued a request last week for all production to shut down until more than 1,000 performers could be tested and treated,

“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 in the statement.

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