Porn industry syphilis cases in L.A. County under investigation
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department is investigating a possible cluster of syphilis cases among adult film industry performers, officials said Friday.
The department has received reports of at least five possible cases in the last week, said Peter Kerndt, director of the county’s Sexually Transmitted Disease programs. The county plans to follow up with the affected individuals to ensure that they have been properly treated and to determine who else may have been infected. Public health workers are also attempting to find out the original source of the recent cluster.
“Whenever there is a cluster like that it may be the tip of the iceberg,” Kerndt said. “It is a concern. It is a serious health risk to workers in this industry.”
Kerndt added that it was “not a surprise that from time to time this would occur” in the industry.
Between 2010 and 2011, there was an increase in syphilis cases throughout Los Angeles County, Kerndt said.
-- Anna Gorman