Aug. 20, 2012: Mark McGrath, a consultant for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, talks about a recent syphilis outbreak that prompted a halt to adult-film production.
The porn industry has been temporarily shut down due to a recent outbreak of syphilis, the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Monday.
"The shutdown that's occurring now is on a national level," said Mark McGrath, a consultant for AHF. "There's strong evidence to indicate that syphilis has started in Europe from European shoots, and now has come over to the United States, exposing our community, exposing our citizens."
The hiatus could last for weeks, according to the AHF.
Because performers are tested for syphilis every six months and the disease has an incubation period up to 90 days, the disease could go undiagnosed for up to nine months, AHF President Michael Weinstein said.
"This is the living proof that self-regulation in this industry is not going to work. This is also proof that testing is not a form of prevention," AHF President Michael Weinstein said.
Syphilis, which can be cured with antibiotics, is transmitted through sex and skin-to-skin contact. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to internal organs, including the brain and heart, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.