Porn Industry Still Struggles With Condom Issue


Mitchell's organization offers a wide range of resources for industry members besides the testing including counseling, psychological services and even a scholarship fund if the actors decide the physical and emotional risks are no longer worth the acting fees they collect.

She describes an environment for a new actress of today. "They walk on set and it's wall-to-wall sex and the type of sexual encounters they're having are extremely high risk." When asked whether she could ever see a day when condom use was a requirement, she said, "That would be wonderful, wouldn't it?"

Testing stems the flow of sexually transmitted diseases if it discovers an infected actor before an outbreak occurs. With actors often performing in several scenes a day often with multiple partners, an epidemic could spread like wildfire if not contained through testing. For the time being that is enough of a safety net for many of the participants.

Jayden Jaymes is one of the actresses who is just going with the flow, but still has trepidations about sex scenes without a condom.

"Yeah, sometimes I worry, but thank God for those tests. I have been unfortunate enough — we all get STDs — but I have gotten them taken care of. It worries me sometimes there are some of those that you can't get rid God forbid if I ever get HIV or AIDS, but I think I'm OK for now."

But Bob McCulloch, the attorney for Darren James, the actor whose HIV infection led to the condom-only practices in 2004, says the industry is only reducing liability with the testing and that the condom-only policies of the past are the only way to protect the performers.

"The system currently is designed to sacrifice a small number of people who are going to get it, and then limit the damage. It's a system that has damage control, but not prevention."

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