Since she was diagnosed with HIV in late August, adult performer Cameron Bay has been super brave. She not only came out as Patient Zero publicly, but has talked openly about her experience since. I applaud her for her courage: not only is she facing a life with a scary-ass disease, but she’s also facing criticism from inside the industry (or, if she’s not yet, I’m sure she will after this HuffPo article makes the rounds) and from without, as people feel the need to make comments like, “Well, what did she expect?!” about her HIV status. Obviously she made some mistakes, which she admits again here in her Huffington Post article, but so did the people she was working with and around. It’s not easy to come out with any of this, I’m sure, and it surely won’t be easy to stay brave after pointing out some of the dangerous situations you’ve been part of in an industry like this that’s so insular and secretive. I think that the adult industry does a very good job of policing itself, but clearly there is room for improvement. The HuffPo piece may really work at highlighting the sensation details and exploiting the danger angles, but what they printed is all straight from Bay. Again, very brave.
I don’t know what would be best as far as testing and condom protocol in the industry go, but facing life with a disease that’s costly to treat and with few prospects is tough. I feel for Bay; I’ve been there with medical expenses of my own–my medication costs nearly as much as hers out of pocket per month–and it’s a bitch and a half to get coverage without the added pressure of working in an industry that gets you shunned from so many other industries, and thus making it more difficult to find a job to cover you. It’s a real bitch that the adult industry doesn’t more often provide healthcare, given that the costs are so high and the risks great. It’s a total fucking heartbreak that people don’t have the access to care that they should be able to get when they need it.
Support Cameron with a few bucks if you can at this website where money is being raised. Show that you may not exactly understand her situation but that you respect it and wish her the best. She’s being incredibly brave in the face of a whole lot of sensationalism, scrutiny, fear, and contempt.