Porn industry aids outbreak

porn industry aids outbreak


As it fights an outbreak of HIV among its actors and leading ladies, the porn film industry should study how San Francisco dealt with the disease two decades ago.

The epidemic in the 1980s was an explosion, and no one knew where the pieces would land. Awareness grew quickly in some communities and slowly in others. I remember gay men arguing with me about their risk, while a group of prisoners asked carefully about sex and drugs, each muttering, " 'Scuse me, Sister" to their chaperone, a nun.

The "San Francisco model" of HIV prevention taught that any sexual partner might be infected. On one call I took on an AIDS hot line in Oregon, a woman who insisted she wasn't at risk finally admitted she'd been monogamous for three whole months. Whatever monogamy's virtues as a disease prevention strategy, I replied, it's not retroactive. Nor does it work when one partner is infected.

These truths have been reinforced by the HIV outbreak in the porn film industry, which has enshrined a form of AIDS denial not so different from that of more mainstream Americans. On the heterosexual side, a sort of huge, aggregate "monogamy" is supposed to allow performers to avoid HIV: They get monthly tests and must test "clean" before making a movie.

The gay porn film industry makes much greater use of condoms; only about 1 percent of heterosexual video companies mandate condoms, and several others allow performers a choice. The elaborate testing-and-closed-talent-pool routine was developed to avoid having to show diehard smut fans the rubber- covered appendages they presumably disdain.

HIV Scare Hits Porn Industry Video - ABC News

porn industry aids outbreakporn industry aids outbreak

SAO PAULO - Flush with dollars, American porn film directors swoop into Brazil for its exotic and uninhibited women, dazzling tropical backdrops and cheap production costs -- a phenomenon that has turned South America's largest country into a prime destination for adult film outsourcing.

But the infection of an American porn star with HIV last month after shooting unprotected sex scenes with more than a dozen Brazilian women is sending shock waves through the industry's California heartland and prompting Brazilian performers to criticize their American counterparts.

America's adult film industry relies on testing to prevent the spread of the virus. But testing is scoffed at in Brazil as expensive and unreliable. The Brazilian porn industry, Latin America's largest, has long depended on condoms to prevent actors from getting and spreading HIV.

Darren James, the American actor who contracted the virus, apparently in Brazil, and infected at least one actress after returning to the United States, ''took a risk that many Brazilian actors won't,'' said Evaldo Shiroma, who heads the Brazilian Erotic Industry Association.

Brazil, like many countries, does not require HIV testing for porn actors, and American actors who work in the country often go back to the United States immediately to film more movies, boosting the infection risk.

As it fights an outbreak of HIV among its actors and leading ladies, the porn film industry should study how San Francisco dealt with the disease two decades ago.

The epidemic in the 1980s was an explosion, and no one knew where the pieces would land. Awareness grew quickly in some communities and slowly in others. I remember gay men arguing with me about their risk, while a group of prisoners asked carefully about sex and drugs, each muttering, " 'Scuse me, Sister" to their chaperone, a nun.

The "San Francisco model" of HIV prevention taught that any sexual partner might be infected. On one call I took on an AIDS hot line in Oregon, a woman who insisted she wasn't at risk finally admitted she'd been monogamous for three whole months. Whatever monogamy's virtues as a disease prevention strategy, I replied, it's not retroactive. Nor does it work when one partner is infected.

These truths have been reinforced by the HIV outbreak in the porn film industry, which has enshrined a form of AIDS denial not so different from that of more mainstream Americans. On the heterosexual side, a sort of huge, aggregate "monogamy" is supposed to allow performers to avoid HIV: They get monthly tests and must test "clean" before making a movie.

The gay porn film industry makes much greater use of condoms; only about 1 percent of heterosexual video companies mandate condoms, and several others allow performers a choice. The elaborate testing-and-closed-talent-pool routine was developed to avoid having to show diehard smut fans the rubber- covered appendages they presumably disdain.

With four porn stars now  testing positive for HIV , the industry has issued a  moratorium to cease filming  for an indefinite amount of time, but RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that not all are adhering to the halt and porn has continued to film.

Porn star  Cameron Bay  was first to reveal  she tested positive for HIV last month  and then her boyfriend who primarily works in gay porn,  Rod Daily , revealed via Twitter last Tuesday that he, too, had  contracted the deadly virus .

Radar was first to report  that  two other actors in the porn industry  — who remain unnamed — have since tested positive for HIV, bringing the total to four.

Initially when Bay tested HIV-positive, a moratorium was enacted it but lifted after her partners tested negative, but in light of more HIV-positive porn actors the moratorium has been re-instated indefinitely by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC).

“Because of these precautionary steps, the performer who has now tested positive for HIV, had not performed since BEFORE the first moratorium and was prevented from performing due to the required retest,” Dr. Sean Darcy of the FSC said in a statement after the third performer tested positive.

"The moratorium will be lifted once the risk of transmission has been eliminated," Diane Duke, executive director of the industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition, said in an email to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Word of the latest moratorium quickly drew critical responses from porn industry opponents. Among them was Michael Weinstein, whose group the AIDS Healthcare Foundation successfully lobbied voters last year to adopt an ordinance requiring actors use condoms in the making of most porn films.

"How many adult film performers have to become infected with an array of preventable sexually transmitted diseases - including HIV, which is not curable - before the porn industry actually complies with the law requiring condom use," he said in a statement.

"The moratorium will be lifted once the risk of transmission has been eliminated," Diane Duke, executive director of the industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition, told The Associated Press in an email.

There was also an HIV scare that halted production in Aug. 2011 , but filming resumed shortly after when a re-test showed the actor did not have the virus.

Word of the latest moratorium quickly drew critical responses from porn industry opponents. Among them was Michael Weinstein, whose group the AIDS Healthcare Foundation successfully lobbied voters last Nov. to adopt a county ordinance requiring actors use condoms in the making of most porn films.

"How many adult film performers have to become infected with an array of preventable sexually transmitted diseases -- including HIV, which is not curable -- before the porn industry actually complies with the law requiring condom use," he said in a statement.

The industry, which says its audience does not want to see condoms, is fighting the Los Angeles County measure in court and has threatened to leave the area, including the San Fernando Valley where many production companies are passed.

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