Derrick Burts, HIV-positive gay and straight porn performer being groomed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation

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Well, the same article has hit news everywhere: Derrick Burts is getting aid from AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Is that important? Only if you have been following this issue and the extreme propaganda pushed by AHF regarding condoms and their attacks on Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM). Let’s take a look at everything, including Derrick Burts, a.k.a. Derek Chambers, a.k.a. Cameron Reed, a.k.a. Cameron Reid.

As soon as Doug started reading the post on “Derrick Burts calling for condoms in porn” at the Los Angeles Times website, my first question was, “Where is AIDS Healthcare Foundation in this article?” He had just read the first few sentences and I knew there would be an eventual endorsement because 1) the “call for condoms” comes from AHF as part of their campaign to make money off of their endorsement with Lifestyles condoms, and 2) because it immediately bashed AIM.

“Burts said AIM staff had warned him not to contact the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, whose officials have been among the clinic’s chief critics. In frustration, Burts said he went to an AIDS Healthcare Foundation center in Los Angeles on Nov. 24 and saw a doctor, never identifying himself as Patient Zeta.

Pleased with the care he received at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Burts contacted the group’s leaders last week, identified himself as Patient Zeta and said he wanted to speak out on their behalf and in favor of enforcing mandatory condom use in porn productions. Foundation officials have scheduled a news conference with Burts for 10 a.m. Wednesday.”

Whether you like AIM or not, there’s no credit given to the clinic for not only detecting an HIV-positive performer, but also no credit given to the clinic for preventing Derrick Burts from giving it to anyone else. You will never hear praise for AIM or their testing system even though hundreds of people work in the adult industry daily and the clinic has prevented numerous outbreaks. Think about that. How often do you hear about HIV in straight porn? 1998, before AIM when Marc Wallice faked a negative test. People were going to different clinics then and a test could be easily faked if you didn’t know what to look for or who to contact. 2004 with Darren James because he shot with an untested woman in Brazil. 2006 with one woman who was detected and whom no one has heard from again. And this year with a crossover gay performer, again, detected and gave it to no one else on the straight side. Gay, we don’t know because they don’t test. Think about how many people have been prevented from entering the straight porn pool because of this voluntary system Sharon Mitchell created after Marc Wallice faked a negative test in 1998, the same year I entered the adult industry. This has nothing to do with not needing a better system or opposing condoms, I just want everyone reading to at least see through the top layer of bullshit before proceeding with the rest of the issues. The gay industry is unsafe. They don’t implement testing and they don’t always implement condoms, but AIM is being attacked because a gay performer crossed over while still working in the gay industry. And who stands to benefit from AIM being ousted? AHF. Not only that, they use the inferior ELIZA testing system over the more accurate, more expensive and more time-sensitive PCR-DNA system in place at AIM. THESE POINTS MATTER! You can be the dumbest person on the planet and see the irrational progression from the AHF campaign. They are wasting the industry’s time but rehashing things we’re all already supposed to know. All the information needs to be seen here and it is being carefully withheld and spun negligently by AHF. And they stand next to Shelley Lubben, someone who thinks gays should be cured of their gayness. THAT MATTERS TO ME. So any affiliation as long as it gets AHF in the door for the testing and distribution of condoms and the government grants is okay?? As long as “the beast is slain,” according to Shelley Lubben? Do not tell me it doesn’t matter. It matters!

I found this thread in a forum months ago (NSFW!!!!), and I would like confirmation, somehow, that this is Derrick Burts, because if it is, then this is his first instance of speaking out–contrary to the bold statement in the article all over the internet today.

I’m proud to be HIV poz! [Cameron Reed speaks!!!]

I got as informed as I could about the disease – I attended the PLUS seminar hosted by the Stop Aids folks here in LA. I also “came out” about my HIV status to friends and my family. I’m fortunate to have a close relationship with my family and knew that as upset as they would be, they’d still love and accept me. For me, keeping my status a secret would have only added to the sense of shame I felt about it and would have cut me off form those close to me.

HIV/AIDS is an epidemic and in epidemics there will be casualties. It’s nobody’s fault that they seroconverted. Sure, I made a lousy decision to not insist on the guy fucking me to use a rubber, but I’m only human and humans make lousy decisions at times.

You say “there’s no way back”. Of course there isn’t. There’s no way back in anything in life. Dwelling on shoulda, woulda, coulda only spins me around in circles. I only have there here and now and I can either choose to make the most of what life has to offer or else wallow in self-pity. I find the fomer works much better than the latter.”

“[responding to an angry person] They are all in this biz and should know the risks. Let them eat HIV if they get it. I took the risks and got burned and will live with it but I feel no remorse on anyone I put in danger. THEY made the choice to become a hooker. I can’t stand people like you and your holier that thou attitude. I should fuck you up the ass while you sleep!”

“You are FUCKING IGNORANT! Yes, I will have to take pills the rest of my life, but I will live a normal lifespan thanks to meds. You are in this biz and you are this UNEDUCATED about HIV? No one wastes away and dies from AIDS anymore IF they are on meds and stay on them.

People don’t know who you are, you moron. You aren’t a household name. No one reads Playboy anymore you asshole.

yea run away to bed, faggot meathead. I kicked your ass tonight and you ran to bed. Remember that, asshole…”

“[when prompted to contact XBiz or The Howard Stern Show] Look, I appreciate all the advice and the offers, but I am taking my time and weighing all my options.”

“[to an angry commenter about someone whose credibility was risked] Look, no offense, but if her credibility was damaged, it was her own fault.”

“HIV is a big shock, and a significant change, to everyone who unfortunately catches it. It does not mean however that your life is over. I am young, and this is a virus that can be controlled with proper treatment.

I indeed have this virus. That is step number one. Step number two, is that I have come to terms with my status. I have found a doctor who deals with this condition. Now I will focus on whether I need to start treatment or not at the moment. I may want to seek one on one counseling if I deem it necessary, but I take it all one step at a time.

I have HIV; HIV does not have ME.

Take it easy and feel free to reach out as needed. That’s the main goal behind these boards.

Wishing you well,

-Cameron Reed.”

“I was numb too, I think it is normal for some of us. While some need to grieve with tears and become an emotional wreck others simply compartmentalize. From the first day I found out I was poz I went into survival mode… No tears, no emotion, I went online and started to educate myself. I found this site and some great people too”

“How do I know who I’m responding to? I’m sure you’re not the only faceless fuck posting here. I just respond to what I feel like responding to. I couldn’t care less about you or any of the other cowards that don’t post a name. If a post is directed at me, I respond if I feel like doing so.

Again, there are many people that have lived with this disease for well over 20 years. Only ignorant, uneducated morons like you think it is still a death sentence. If you ended up with HIV, I am sure you would kill yourself.

I think it’s funny people try to throw this “You’re going to die” nonsense in my face when I have already stated that I am excited to turn the page to the next chapter and plan on being here for a very long time. www.poz.com has thousands of people like me who were “Stupid enough to catch HIV,” but many have been living with it for 20+ years. The only way that I would die in 5 years is if I needed to start meds and didn’t do so. I will most likely outlive you.”

“Friends,

Check out this video interview of me and James Jamesson.

Enjoy!” – This is a short interview from a gay porn set and not necessary to watch if you are paying attention to anything Derrick/Cameron has to say, compared to his current video via every media outlet, announcing his affiliation with AHF., but  and part of the reason I think this is actually Derrick/Cameron posting to this thread.


“Kaycee [his girlfriend] is fine. As for who else is infected, how the hell do I know?”

“Christian is a health nut. I admit I was careless and used to bareback guys I met in gay clubs before I was in porn. I know Christian would never do that. He released a statement that said he does not visit clubs or drink or do drugs. I was using drugs and alcohol when I visited clubs and barebacked men. I just got unlucky one day. But I enjoyed “Taking it raw.”"

“Still too long. Can’t be bothered. And I have explained this many times but you just can’t get it through your skull. Posting under an anonymous name is OK, but no name? Why even bother? You obviously don’t think highly enough of your posts to sign them, so why should I read them?

I think people are just upset that I am OK with being +. They expect me to just give up. Most people are miserable in their lives so they want company. So it pisses them off that someone who is + is happier in life than they are.

And Derek Chambers in in my signature, which is attached to each and every one of my posts. I’m proud of my time in gay porn, and in straight porn.”

“Sorry to disappoint you but you should expect me to be around for 40-50 more years at least with the new drugs and more coming all the time. No one dies from this disease anymore. You sound angry. I am sure you are a bitter failure in life.”

“Orange County loves me. I am a Disneyland season pass holder and an Angels season ticket holder (Partial season plan). Hockey, not the biggest fan but I get to a game here and there.”

“This past week has been hell for me, on Thursday I got into a huge fight with my best friend. To sum a long story short, I tried to hurt myself by overdosing.

I did something stupid this weekend. There was this poz guy that would sometimes text me saying we should hang out. After the fight he actually texted me, I came to his place. We had sexual intercourse. Sadly he did not use a condom, (Whilst knowing he was HIV positive, (and of course so was I)

He did not cum in me, we did it for maybe 10 minutes. Here is where my fear comes from.
Pre-Cum AND because neither of us are on medication. My viral load is less then 1000. His viral load he said was around 30000. Plus he was the top, and tops usually have a higher risk of infecting people then the bottom. Yes it doesn’t matter whether you are top/bottom. Though a bottom supposedly has a higher risk. (Condoms of course are the best way to prevent transmission, I’ve had HIV for one month)

I am very afraid, that I might have been potentially re-infected. Yesterday I felt really bad “Why did I not ask him to wear a condom” — Obviously I messed up. ha ha. So I was wondering statistically even though he did not ejaculate in me, what is the risk of me being reinfected if NEITHER of us were on meds. It does scare me alot. This is killing me, and I am sure there was a high risk anyway.”

“FYI, when you post “Facts” you need to cite a source if you want to be taken seriously. Name calling doesn’t help your case either and if you’re over the age of 12 it makes you sound silly.” – good advice for Shelley Lubben

I don’t have an opinion of Derrick Burts/Cameron Reid beyond my heartbreak at this entire situation. Why the gay industry doesn’t implement testing I will never understand, but clearly, testing does help. I would also like to point out that the gay community has a support system. The gay industry also has production pools for HIV-positive performers to work with each other. Straight men and women don’t have this kind of support when they test positive. Derrick can continue to work and for many years. The whole thing is just sickening and I’m appalled at AHF’s tactics to undermine the current testing system that should be testing the entire industry and not just one side. There are probably several workable solutions, including condoms, but this is how the discussion begins on that side. Insults, accusations and lies.

My favorite part about the “Derrick speaks for the first time” video on the LA Times website is the argument that AIM claimed he contracted HIV from his personal life, which has nothing to do with their detecting it and preventing him from spreading it, and the fact that the issues are conflated and that the language is vague. “They” don’t want you to wear condoms, after talking about AIM would assume that AIM doesn’t want talent to wear condoms, yet they offer free condoms on the counter at their clinic and have no say in actual production procedures beyond testing the actors, so “they” is the producers. And “barebacking” is a fetish on the gay side. He said that the gay side requires condoms, but that’s not true. Some do not enforce condoms. Everyone in the indsutry knows that a combination of testing and condoms are a great way to go. How that comes to fruition should be the next steps taken, but because AHF, UCLA, Los Anegeles County Department of Health, CalOSHA and their affiliates are more intent on bullying and spanking the industry’s ass, we are left to stare at the same angry rehashing of a “condom mandate” though they keep saying it’s already mandatory. The problem is that the rules don’t suit the industry (condoms during felatio and goggles and gloves, all from a mandate set for clinics in the early 90s without regard to the specifics about adult work or any input from the people of the industry, which no other industry would ever tolerate), and there is an employee vs. independent contractor issue. Are these people talking about this? No. There is no “discussion.” The adult industry was purposely kept from a “discussion” at UCLA where the only person invited was someone who had never spoken at any of the previous “discussions”. Why? Because they don’t like what the industry has to say, but they have to care because you can’t regulate an industry full of adults without them protesting. You can overwork children on mainstream shoots, you can send them off to pageants and treat them however you like because they don’t have a say, but adults do, and it’s confounding that they would be surprised that adults in a legal industry would have a say in how they run their business. Compromise would be wonderful excapt that these sources are attacking. They don’t care to discuss, they don’t care for facts, they just need the next victim to serve as a mouthpiece for an industry they only intend to conquer and divide.

For a great analysis of what the adult industry faces and how it is being attacked, this PDF is thorough:

Self-Regulation in the Adult Film Industry: Why Are HIV Outbreaks the Exception and Not the Norm?

Also, from Jezebel:

HIV-Positive Porn Star Was Gay-To-Straight

Here’s another good article courtesy of Michael Whiteacre’s reference on his FaceBook page:

Derrick Burts, Porn Actor Who Sparked Latest HIV Scare In San Fernando Valley Industry, Speaks Up For Condom Use (But Offers Strange Story Of How He Came Up Positive)


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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

15 Comments

  1. I only disagree with your statement that the video above is “not necessary to watch.” I think that video is a blockbuster, Lydia.

    I just linked to it in my comment on the LA Weekly Informer blog by Dennis Romero where I was very pleased to see what I consider to be a healthy dose of journalistic skepticism in Mr. Romero’s report.

    In the YouTube video, shot on a gay set, this “mostly straight guy” (that’s what he’s portraying now that he’s in the hands of AHF) talks about how gay porn was always what he wanted to do, how much he enjoys bottoming (which he implies he’s experienced at), how he’s “always been a fan of JetSet” (a top gay porn company, which now maintains a strong online presence), among other things.

  2. You are absolutely right. I was thinking in consideration of the readers that I know watch from work and are straight and wouldn’t care for a commentary about homosexual sex, but you are absolutely right. I amended my post to link to Mr. Romero’s article and I left my own comment there. Only the irresponsible catch HIV, only the irresponsible blame everyone but themselves for catching it.

  3. When I first saw the story this morning, I tweeted that there was something about this that just threw my BS meter through the roof. Thanks to you, Julie, my fears have been realized….this story has more holes than a gloryhole scene lined with Swiss cheese.

    Mr. Burts claims in his LA Times interview that he’s mostly monogamous with his girlfriend, therefore, AIM was wrong in implying that he must have gotten HIV through “extracurricular activity”. OK..so just how in the hell did he GET infected then?? Through osmosis?? Kissing?? Reacharound??

    Secondly, he claims that AIM dissed him by not following up with treatment for HIV+, while AHF welcomed him with open arms (and, i suppose, plenty of cash to witness for them), which is why he is so much all in for the condom mandate. He does know that AIM-MED is mostly a TESTING organization, right?? And that they only do testing for the mainstream HETERO adult industry?? And that they do NOT do testing for the gay side because over there, they rely on condoms and segregating HIV+ from HIV- folk and explicit labeling of barebacking to control the spread of the virus?? So…how in the HELL is AIM to blame for him taking off that condom for that gay scene??

    Now, you could say that the company who hired him for that (straight het) scene failed by not testing him prior to him doing that hetero scene. But…if you know that you come from a genre where HIV+ folk are doing straight bareback scenes, don’t you think that it would be a decent idea to get tested BEFORE you step into that hetero sex scene?? If only for the sake of comforting the woman whom you will be shooting with??

    Then again, the LA Times and the LA Weekly have been some of the biggest boosters for the condom mandate (Romero’s most recent attempt at fairness notwithstanding), so it’s probably not surprising that they would be the first to promote Burts as The Ultimate Porn Victim. Especially since “Patient Zero” of last years “scare” isn’t quite so willing to be AHF’s shill.

    I sympathize with Mr. Burts’ dilemma…but that doesn’t mean that I can’t point out the inconsistencies in his story, or the way it’s being exploited by the usual suspects to malign performers’ rights.

    Anthony

  4. I’m sorry – this one is a lot to digest – but I need to get clarification on something:

    He did actually say he was “mostly straight”, right? I didn’t imagine that?

  5. “Mostly straight” was the term used by the blogger at LA Weekly, but, in my opinion, it accurately reflects the way Mr. Burts is currently representing himself. A naive straight male, who was only “gay for pay” and was seemingly unaware that having sex as a bottom with gay men posed a potential heath risk.

    This does not, however, comport with the facts known this far. To be sure, more quotes and videos of Mr.; Burts will be forthcoming very soon.

  6. @Michael

    Thanks for the clarification!

  7. thanks for posting this Lydia. I can’t believe this guy is painting himself as a “victim” when in reality he victimized quite a few people himself.

    I think condoms should be more commonplace and acceptable in porn, but not mandatory – mainly because I’m afraid that if they became mandatory STD testing wouldn’t be a requirement at all.

  8. From what I read of his responses I feel like the guy is probably feeling pretty defensive and using the “proud of being poz” stance as a defense.
    I applaud him for stating that he’s going to get on with his life and HIV is not a death sentence etc etc…but it’s a long way from that to saying he has no remorse about infecting those who choose to become “hookers”.
    That was a very ignorant, callous response and again, I tend to see it as the response of someone who is going through some very intense (and public) psychological trauma, trying to regain a measure of control.
    The blatant fact remains though, that the gentleman admitted he believes he caught the disease barebacking at clubs before he ever became a performer, and if this is the case and if the gay porn industry had testing – all this would be avoided.
    AIM testing is never going to be perfect, not because of the nature of AIM but because of the nature of tests.
    Doesn’t it take a couple of months for HIV to show up in blood tests? I think that’s how Darren James’ situation came about.
    He contracted it on a shoot in Brazil, came back to the US, was tested by AIM, the test was not able to pick up the recent infection and he went on to infect 3 other women.
    That wasn’t AIM’s fault – nothing they could have done would have prevented that. Again though, it shows that the weakest point in the system is when it comes into contact with unregulated, untested people.

  9. Maybe they should make HIV tests as much a part of legislation and record-keeping as 2257 – in and out of the US.

  10. people should be protected at work. if it’s a legal job, you should have the right not to be infected with HIV.

    AHF gets cash for endorsing Lifestyles condoms… that’s all you need to know.

  11. So, “the only person he slept with in his personal life was his girlfriend”?

    Check out Derrick’s gay escort ad from RentBoy.com

    http://board.freeones.com/showthread.php?t=448349&page=4

    Whoops, Mr. Weinstein — looks like you hitched your wagon to another Shelley Lubben.

  12. IN the midst of all this information, Julie, I have to add an important caveat.

    Most of the information on Derrick Burts was being sourced from forums and sites hosted by a man named Donny Long, who has been notorious for spreading false rumors, forcibly outing porn performers, and rampant homophobia against gays.

    That’s not to say that the info isn’t legitimate; but only that the primary messenger for that source is highly problematic.

    Darrah Ford did a series of DM’s with me via Twitter last night informing me of DL’s antics…and she says that she did attempt to post a comment here last night. She’s planning to do an interview with Derrick/Cameron today and get his side of the story, and then post it to her blog sometime today.

    In the meantime, here’s my own perspective on the whole matter, posted to BPPA:

    http://bppa.blogspot.com/2010/12/hiv-porn-scare-2010-redyx-patient-zeta.html

    As Matt Sludge…err, Drudge, would say: Developing….

    Anthony

  13. @LL – I didn’t view this posting as “anti-gay” and I don’t think a balanced (mentally or otherwise!) reader would walk away with that impression, Lydia.

    I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the ins and outs (pun intended) of this, especially in light of the second post.

    @LL, MF or another in the know: Why would industry mandated condom use potentially eliminate mandatory testing? How would the proponents of this make the argument that both practices are mutually exclusive and not complementary? (Sorry if this is a bone headed question)

  14. @Jim, California law disallows mandatory (legislatively mandated) testing — the current system is voluntary and universal (for straight porn, at least) for a reason —

    Under California law it is illegal to make someone’s HIV status a condition of employment. That means, under that kind of regime, producers would have to hire performers without regard to their status, and they wouldn’t have to inform the other performers, either.

    So, which system would you prefer if you were a performer –

    1) Non-condom sex with someone who can show you his/her current HIV (and STD) test

    or

    2) Sex with a condom with someone who may very well be HIV positive?

  15. @Anthony — You are absolutely right and I have stated that I don’t know if it is him or not. The problem I have with some of the tender testimony is that it does not sound like something a gay basher would infuse into commentary about such a sensitive subject. I really hope it is not him because some of the things said are pretty heartbreaking.

    @Sean — You make a good point about it sounding like someone dealing with trauma and being defensive. I certainly can’t imagine having to take it all in and make sense of it. Again, I really, really hope it’s not him and I do feel bad for anyone going through difficult things.

    @Jim — The fear is that the straight industry would adopt the gay industry’s procedures, but I don’t think it’s possible.

    Gay men don’t live with the same stigmas that straight men and women do when it comes to their sex choice to be an adult industry performer. They have a community and support system that takes care of its own. The existence of HIV runs more rampant on the gay side, so they really push for condom use because it’s responsible and because it’s so hard to contract HIV orally. Saliva has a really strong defense of bacteria-killing agents. It is almost impossible to contract HIV through oral sex, so they push for condoms to protect the more sensitive mucous membrane in the anus. They don’t have testing in place and I don’t know why.

    That’s the fear, but I don’t think the straight industry would ever risk it because 1) HIV is very rare, i.e., not common enough to create a talent pool of HIV-positive performers the actors can work with exclusively (gay side has that–again, their take care of their own), and 2) it suffers more scrutiny by men and women from outside because straight people not in porn really dislike them. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose from being in the limelight in a non-industry friendly, fan-friendly way.

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