Syphilis Scare Forces Porn Industry to, uh, Grind to a Halt

An adult film actor's positive syphilis test has prompted the entire industry to shut down temporarily while officials test other performers and investigate the possibility of an outbreak.

According to CBS, so far, only a single performer has tested positive for the disease, but an industry group called for a voluntary moratorium on making more films as doctors sort everything out. More troublingly, last week, 5 possible cases of syphilis were reported to the Los Angeles County Health Department, which officials worry could be the stirrings of a syphilis outbreak. Party like it's 1799!

Lucky for the 1,000 or so performers who are being tested, when caught and treated within a year of becoming infected, individuals with the disease can be cured with a shot of penicillin.

Porn industry production shut down briefly last year for what turned out to be a false positive on an HIV test, and the industry insists that it does a fine job of regulating itself. But sexual safety advocacy groups claim the industry's refusal to mandate condom use is dangerous to performers and could pose a public health risk.

[CBS]