Patient Zeta, the adult film performer who tested positive for HIV earlier this year, leading to a massive industry quarantine, spoke out for the first time on Tuesday. His name is Derrick Burts, and he’s calling for mandatory condom use in porn and improved HIV testing.
Burts tested positive on Oct. 8 at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks after working in both straight and gay adult films for a few months. His last negative HIV test had been Sept. 3 and the clinic quarantined all the performers Burts worked with after that, including his girlfriend who also worked in the adult film industry. On Oct. 23 the clinic found the source of the infection, and it was someone they described to him as a “known positive.” Burts came in contact with the HIV-positive performer on the set of a gay adult film shoot which did not require performers to present negative test results before shooting.
Burts’ account of the transmission differs from the AIM Healthcare Foundation statements, released last month, that said he “acquired the virus through private, personal activity.” Burts is now eager to tell his side of the story, and support expanded testing, better follow-up care, and condom use throughout the adult film industry, saying that performers need to be educated.
“Making $10,000 or $15,000 for porn isn't worth your life,” he said.