I hate having to wear my tinfoil hat as one of my Twitter followers pointed out but sometimes it is necessary. Several days ago I posted an article about “Who Should Pay for Performer Testing.” Now I feel compelled to discuss what testing may or may not mean to those who actually control it.
Most industry members see testing as a profitable money making endeavor for whomever controls it. While others believe that those that control the test results can also control the release of information in case of a STI outbreak and might even be able to minimize potential legal liability. Some just see it as a “pissing contest” between several egos.
There is a third potential possibility as well. Many people are now starting to understand that information is worth money. Data mining is a big time business in this world. STI testing results are indeed worth money to the United States government as well as corporations developing new drugs for STIs.
If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that on August 9, 2012 I tweeted about how the National Institutes of Health offer grant money to study HIV screening and testing ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-118.html ) On Saturday, August 11, 2012, Talent Testing Service announced that they just formed a partnership with University of California, Los Angeles on a sexual health study ( http://business.avn.com/company-news/Talent-Testing-Service-Partners-with-UCLA-on-Sexual-Health-Study-485112.html ).
Performers wanting to receive a $40 gift card and free follow up STI medical care can participate in the study. Which essentially means that UCLA will have the right to their test results and medical care to use as part of their study – in essence a performer waives their right of privacy in so much that the information will could be sold. I am sure this information will be sanitized – meaning names will be removed since UCLA probably doesn’t care about a performer’s name or identifying information – rather UCLA cares about the empirical data – how often one tests, how often one catches an STI, the treatment received for such, how long the treatment lasted and how effective the results of the treatment were. That could be a data goldmine for a drug company trying to develop the next anti-biotic to fight any one of the many STIs on the planet.
How much can a group or organization receive for this type of information ? According to the link I posted to the National Institutes of Health’s grant overview information website, there is no limit. However if you want more than $500,000.00 you have to call the NIH directly. Apparently you cannot just email the application for a grant requests at that level.
I am not saying that Talent Testing Services received the grant themselves, however it does appear that UCLA has indeed received grant money for the study of STIs. The performers present a very unique situation in the world when it comes to STI research. I am going to bet that no where else in the United States does a group of people test for and possibly contract STIs as much as performers do in porn. And now that the testing cycle is being pushed to every 14 days, the amount of information is only going to increase and therefore the potential gold mine of data will increase in value as well.
As I tweeted, “there is gold in them thar HIV tests !”