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Porn Production Halted Due To HIV Outbreak

Avery Regen |
September 10, 2013 | 11:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

In the last month, at least three adult film stars have tested positive for HIV, causing widespread panic and controversy in the already controversial industry. 

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC), a non-profit trade organization for the pornography industry, called a filming moratorium on Friday after a third performer tested positive for HIV. A spokesperson for FSC said the organization has not yet confirmed any additional cases. This is the second filming moratorium in a month; the first came after actress Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV.

Last year, Los Angeles County voters approved Assembly Bill 332, which would ban the production of sex films in which performers do not use condoms, but advocates for the law said it has not been strictly enforced.

Efforts to enact a similar ban throughout California, where most of the country’s pornographic movies are made, however, have been stalled in the California Assembly Appropriations Committee since May.

According to Associated Press, Vivid Entertainment, Califa Productions and porn performers Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce sued the county in January to prevent the implementation of the law.

On August 17th, two days before Cameron Bay’s positive test result was released, a federal judge ruled that the law is constitutional.

According to The Guardian, performers are tested every 14-28 days for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, mostly through specialist testing agencies.

Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke explained that her organization strongly opposed AB 332 because they feel that the precautionary program already in place “is extremely effective with no transmission of HIV on set since 2004.”

According to Duke, “the results we have back from the recent tests still support that no onset transmission has occurred.” These results have not been published, and according to Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Health Care Foundation, they do not mean that performers are safe from HIV risk on set. 

"Whether or not [Bay] was infected on set, she performed with HIV between her tests," he said. "If you think that Russian roulette is a great way to protect workers, then the present system is perfect."

The AIDS Health Care Foundation has been pushing for mandatory condom legislature for years. They launched a robo-call campaign on Thursday against Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), who they claim halted the progress of AB 332.

According to Duke, porn is getting safer. The industry has "a medical advisory council that constantly reviews our protocols, tests and standards.  We use state-of-the are [sic] testing which far exceeds anything that the CDC, health departments or even AHF perform," she said.

Most sources agree that HIV transmission is very low in porn. There has not been an onset transmission of HIV since 2004

According to the LA Times, the industry is requiring performers whose last STD test was prior to August 19 to take a re-test, and said it is considering shortening the frequency of required STD tests for performers from 28 to 14 days.

Contact Staff Reporter Avery Regen here



 

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