Actor's Positive HIV Test Disrupts Filming as Clinic Traces On-Screen Sex Partners

aids infection in porn industry
Share
Copy

A porn actor's positive HIV test has prompted an increasing number of America's largest adult film companies to halt production while an industry clinic locates and tests the performer's on-screen sex partners.

The revelation this week further highlighted the lack of condom use among actors routinely exposed in the course of a day's work to bodily fluids capable of spreading myriad sexually transmitted diseases.

The $13 billion porn industry, concentrated in Los Angeles' largely suburban San Fernando Valley, operates under a self-imposed system of monthly blood testing and monitoring. Actors pay for their own tests, performed at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks, a private, nonprofit founded in 1996.

Jennifer Miller, an administrator for the foundation's HIV-STD clinic, said Wednesday that state medical privacy laws prevented her from disclosing the gender of the actor whose HIV test came back positive. She similarly declined to say how many of the actor's on-screen sexual contacts had been identified so they can be tested.

Rumor swirled around the industry about the identity of "patient zero." Adult Video News reported on its Web site, AVN.com, that sources had identified the patient "as a male performer who performed in both straight and gay adult videos."

In a prepared statement, Adult Industry Medical Healthcare said that as a precaution, the industry has imposed a moratorium on filming "any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact" with the actor whose preliminary HIV test result sent a shock wave through an area known for seismic surprises.

That moratorium will remain in place pending confirmatory HIV testing of the patient and fellow male and female actors potentially exposed during on-camera sexual acts with the patient or with the patient's other on-screen sex partners. The additional tests and analysis were expected to take "about 10 days or two weeks."

Michael Weinstein, president of the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation's largest AIDS organization, used the latest incident to reiterate his harsh criticism of the industry's reliance on test results and its historic resistance to requiring condoms during risky sexual acts.

"It's very, very unfortunate that another person has to go through this ordeal," Weinstein said. "At the same time, it points out how outrageous this is."

HIV Case Comes Amid Porn Regulation Debate

Periodic testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases doesn't substitute for prevention, Weinstein said. In December 2009, he petitioned the state's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board for a revision of regulations addressing blood-borne bacterial and viral infections to spell out how to keep actors from becoming exposed to potentially infectious blood, saliva and semen.

His petition set in motion a series of four advisory committee meetings, the next -- and last -- coming up Oct. 25 in Oakland "to discuss whether or not the regulations should be amended to specifically address the adult film industry," said Amy Martin, chief counsel for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, part of California's Department of Industrial Relations.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Cornealious Anderson, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, is shown in this undated file photo.
Missouri Department of Corrections/AP Photo
Kate Middleton Rocks a Pattern Down Under
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Find out how to avoid hunger-induced crankiness.
Altrendo/Getty Images
PHOTO: Robin Williams starred in the 1993 comedy Mrs. Doubtfire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a sequel to the movie is in the works.
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images