Mark Schechter Releases Statement on 3rd HIV-Positive Performer
LOS ANGELES — Mark Schechter, owner of Adult Talent Managers (ATMLA), on Wednesday released a statement regarding the third adult performer who tested positive for HIV.
His statement follows:
"As you are all aware, our industry has recently been informed of a third performer testing positive for HIV. I do have some information that I am compelled to share with the entire industry that will answer many questions and shed some insight on the third HIV case to affect the industry within the last 30 days.
"Within 30 minutes of being informed of an HIV-positive status by a medical doctor, a young and frightened performer in our industry reached out and made direct contact with me. I will not confirm any assumptions or published reports of this performer's identity, and will continue to honor a request for personal privacy. The identity of this performer is not as important as the following information.
"Though her own exposure to HIV didn't happen while performing on set, this performer immediately gave the medical doctor full permission and authority to work directly with me in order to compile a first-generation list to make sure no one else was exposed. I can attest to the fact that all industry related first-generation exposures were notified immediately by this medical doctor and depending upon their individual exposure dates and subsequent testing dates, they were either cleared or instructed to test immediately. As of the publishing of this statement, I can also attest to the fact that all industry-related, first-generation exposures have tested out clear. I have also obtained knowledge that any non-industry exposures were contacted and notified directly by this performer.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to make a plea to the industry to refrain from the need or desire to identify this performer. Please have some sense of compassion and understanding and give credit to this performer for doing what was right in coming forward quickly and assisting in the identification and notifying process that is so vital to the health and safety of our entire industry. When this is over and everyone goes back to work and their everyday lives, this performer is faced with a life-changing event that could have happened to any of us. This performer has every right as a U.S. citizen to privacy and to be able to live a long life without having to endure the additional pain and suffering that goes along with being labeled as HIV+.
"Our industry and the governing bodies that devote endless time and energy in developing and maintaining a health and safety policy that involves rigorous testing and verification process have successfully prevented an HIV+ performer from entering into the performer population. I think it's important to point out and give credit to a system of protection that worked flawlessly. I also urge this entity to continue to review and revise these protocols on a regular basis for the safety and well-being of all performers.
"As difficult as this is for all of us to comprehend and try to make sense and understanding of the odds of having not one, but three HIV+ exposures affect our industry in such a short timeframe, and how quickly our industry can be turned inside out and placed under a microscope. We should all take a moment of self awareness and take a close look at our own personal lives and make any and all necessary changes that will continue to assist our industry and each and every one of us in insuring protection against the threat of STD's within the performer population.
"As an industry and individuals, we will all get through this. It is my wish and desire that we also learn and get stronger together and continue to improve our system of health and protection for those performers involved now and to those who will be involved in our future industry that will continue on forever.
"If anyone wishes to contact me personally, please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org."