SoCal Porn Actress Tests HIV Positive

HIV case is the first confirmed infection in S. Calif. porn industry since 2004.

ByABC News
June 11, 2009, 1:13 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2009 — -- A Southern California porn actress has tested positive for HIV, reigniting concerns that the adult entertainment industry is not protecting talent from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

While initial HIV tests of the woman's partners came up negative, the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that handles HIV and STD testing and treatment for people who work in the porn industry, said the actors are not working and are being encouraged to test again in two weeks.

This case is the first publicly confirmed HIV infection in the industry in Southern California since 2004, when an HIV outbreak shut down porn production industry-wide for a month. At that time, actor Darren James returned from a work trip to Brazil and infected three actresses. More than 50 actors were placed on voluntary work quarantine until they were cleared.

There has been no similar production shutdown announced since the latest news of the unidentified actress's positive HIV test became public.

In a statement posted on the adult industry Web site, AIM founder Sharon Mitchell said this scenario is different because the actress worked infrequently and had not worked with a large number of partners.

"There has been a person who has tested positive. There were exceptionally few partners, inside and outside the industry. All partners are currently testing negative and in adult employment quarantine. All required reporting has been complied with, as have the AIM and industry protocols. The investigation is ongoing. This is not a major event," Mitchell said, according to AVN.

Mark Kernes, senior editor of AVN, said the actress was an older woman who was only hired on rare occasions.

He called the case an "isolated event," saying she did not contract or spread HIV to or from anyone in the adult film world, a testament to the protocols the industry currently has in place.

All of the actors working in the industry are required to be tested for HIV every 30 days, according to Kernes. The time between tests for other sexually transmitted diseases is longer. He said on average, there are about 1,000 people who actively work in the industry every six months.

Mitchell said the woman and all the actors who have worked with her have been quarantined.