In an apparent attempt to isolate how gay porn performer Derrick Burts (a.k.a. Patient Zeta) became infected with HIV last October, LA County Health Department officials are now showing up at the homes of adult models and asking for blood samples.
That’s what one gay porn star tells The Sword, who has asked to remain anonymous. In an interview earlier today, the HIV-positive performer (who is hereafter referred to as “Joe”) claims that a female clinical services coordinator sent by LA County knocked on his door Monday asking for personal health information, and blood.
“She asked if she could come in and if I had a moment to speak, and I said OK. It was just a total surprise. I mean, I’m still dealing with becoming positive six months ago, and now this? It’s just ridiculous,” says Joe. “She asked if I’d be willing to give a blood sample to LA County and if I’d be willing to cooperate, and I was like, ‘no!’ They didn’t have a subpoena or anything. I’m not going to just put myself out there and not know what someone is going to do with the information.”
Though the clinical services coordinator would not confirm or deny to Joe that her inquiry was part of the ongoing Derrick Burts investigation, sources tell The Sword that LA County has been actively hunting down anyone and everyone associated with Burts, from co-stars and friends to agents and studios. In fact, The Sword can confirm that two health department officials attended last week’s Cybersocket Awards in West Hollywood, seeking out those who had associated with Burts.
Last September, Joe was scheduled to shoot a scene with Burts in Florida, but that scene was canceled hours before call time when Joe’s HIV test came back positive. He explains, “I was supposed to shoot with him I think, but honestly I can’t remember. I’ve worked with so many guys. I don’t even know the kid. He obviously gave [LA County] my name, but it doesn’t even make sense because we didn’t end up shooting together. This fuckin’ kid…he doesn’t even know his own situation. I’ve heard him say tons of things that are completely false.”
Derrick Burts’ public statements have indeed been confusing, at best. He told the LA Times that he believed he acquired the virus on a gay porn set in Florida from a “known positive” and had never had gay sex off camera; within hours his Rentboy profile surfaced. He first opined that he became infected after oral sex; later he theorized that it happened after a co-star ejaculated on to his back and semen dripped into his anus. That a young and undoubtedly scared man has put forth contradictory statements while coming to grips with a life-altering medical condition is not surprising. What is surprising? That a state agency has purportedly been roped into a wild goose chase predicated on his emotionally charged and conflicting stories.
“Even if [LA County] finds out I’m positive, what does that matter? I didn’t give it to him. And whoever did give it to him doesn’t matter either; it’s not like they can be stopped from working,” Joe tells The Sword. “There are so many models working today who are positive, and it’s up to the studios whether or not to use us or who to pair us with. It’s up to the other models who aren’t positive, too. Some don’t care about working with a positive performer, some do. The point is, we’re here, and there’s a lot of us, and we’re not gonna go anywhere. We’re not just gonna leave on the drop of a dime because some kid is trying to blame everyone in the world for what happened to him. We’re in the industry and this is our job, and we do the best that we can. We do the best that we can.”
This morning, Joe says the clinical services coordinator called him on the phone, asking again if he’d be willing to cooperate with a county doctor and give a blood sample.
“Again, I told her ‘no!’ It’s an invastion of privacy. It’s none of their business. I’m just trying to live my life. If they want to get a subpoena, then fine. They can give it to my doctor and he can turn over my records. Until then, just leave me the fuck alone.”