Numerous studies and the CDC have shown that HIV-positive men with undetectable viral loads are incapable of transmitting the virus. But gay adult video performer Dante Thick didn’t get the memo because he recently tweeted:
“Ya everyone SHOULD be tested. I don’t want to work with anyone who’s undetectable or detectable. Would be very nice to make this mandatory and also mandatory tests. Idk just sounds smart to me.”
The gay adult video industry blog, Str8UpGayP*rn (link NSFW), explained that Thick wrote his tweet in response to fellow performer Nick Fitt’s tweet mentioning a need to update the adult industry’s FSC PASS STI-testing system so that undetectable performers can “work equally alongside HIV-negative models.”
In response to Thick’s post, several other gay adult performers questioned his opinion, worrying that viewpoints like his just further anti-HIV stigma while ignoring scientific facts. One clever commenter even called Dante “thick.”
It makes sense why Thick might not know that undetectable equals untransmittable: He’s 25-years-old, sex ed in this country is a non-existent joke and he was partially homeschooled in an ultra-religious conservative home. During his childhood, he moved 26 times in 6 different states and attended 10 different schools and over 80 different churches. That’s enough to keep anyone in the dark about sexual health, even if they are an adult performer.
Thick’s studio, Next Door Studios, responded to the backlash by saying that it decided not to renew Thick’s exclusive contract with the studio after working with him for two years.
However, Thick then posted his own Twitter video saying that he decided to no longer continue working with the studio two weeks before his anti-HIV tweet. He said he wanted to focus on expanding his opportunities in straight, bisexual and transgender adult video scenes.
— Donte Thick (@DonteThick) August 2, 2019
Regardless of whether Thick quit or was let go, it’s noteworthy that his old employer thought it important to stand up for HIV-positive performers when barely a decade ago gay adult studios made a regular habit of quietly removing poz performers from their active rosters.
Thick’s tweet also reminds us of August Ames, a 23-year-old female adult video performer who in December 2017 said she didn’t want to work with gay or bi male performers for fear of contracting HIV. After blowback against her tweet, she killed herself by hanging. Three weeks before her suicide, Ames discussed her struggles with bipolar depression and multiple personality disorder on a podcast.