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The porn industry might have the answer to unlocking the coronavirus lockdown, scientist says

Patrick Kelleher May 8, 2020
Gay porn coronavirus

Creative Commons

The answer to ending coronavirus lockdowns just might lie in the hands of the porn industry, a leading scientist has said.

Much of the world has gone into some form of state-enforced lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 — and efforts to stamp out the infection are working in some countries.

But now, governments across the globe are grappling with a difficult question: how can we reopen society and the economy without a vaccine?

This is something the porn industry grappled with more than 20 years ago — and this scientist thinks it could work for coronavirus too.

“In many ways, what they are doing is a model for what we are trying to do with COVID-19,” Ashish Jha, director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute told Stat News.

The porn industry’s PASS program could be a useful blueprint for tackling coronavirus.

The model Jha refers to is the PASS program, which was introduced in the porn industry in the late 1990s in response to a HIV outbreak.

Under the PASS program, adult performers who sign up are tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections every 14 days.

These results are fed into a database which allows porn studios to find out if a performer has been recently tested for STIs.

People can’t get distracted because it’s from a business they don’t approve of.

If a performer tests positive for HIV, all US porn sets are immediately shut down and a contact tracing system is put in place in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Jha believes that a similar system could work with the coronavirus.

“The adult film industry teaches us that as a proof of concept, this can work. We just have to scale it up,” he said.

Under Jha’s proposal, people would regularly test for COVID-19 and their results would be stored in a secure database accessible by organisations that need the data.

Airlines and other organisations would be able to access data under the proposals.

He suggested that this could include airlines, for example, among other organisations.

“Testing is particularly important for areas that are high risk, like airplanes or meatpacking plants,” he said.

“What the adult film industry has produced has worked, and really could be the kind of tool we need,” he added.

“People can’t get distracted because it’s from a business they don’t approve of.”

There are now more than 3.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The United States, the UK, Spain and Italy have been among the worst affected countries worldwide.

Conversely, New Zealand has begun to lift restrictions and is thought to have eliminated community transmission of the disease.

 

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19

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