HIV/AIDS in the pornographic film industry

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HIV/AIDS in the pornographic films industry deals with the outbreak of cases of transmission of HIV/AIDS in the course of production of the pornographic films in the United States, which became a major cause of concern within the industry, especially for pornographic film actors, since the 1980s. There have been twenty-two reported HIV cases in the industry, roughly half were among men who work in gay films, while the rest were both men and women working in heterosexual productions.[1]

Cases[edit]

1980s and 1990s[edit]

In the 1980s, an outbreak of HIV resulted in the death of a number of pornographic film actors and actresses, including John Holmes, Wade Nichols, Marc Stevens and Al Parker.

In February 1986, Holmes was diagnosed as HIV-positive, six months after he had been tested negative for the virus. During the summer of 1986, Holmes, knowing his HIV status, agreed to perform in two pornographic films to be filmed in Italy, without informing the producers of his HIV status. Performers in one film, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empress, were Ilona 'Cicciolina' Staller, who later became a member of the Italian parliament, Tracey Adams, Christoph Clark, and Amber Lynn.[2] Performers in the other film, The Devil In Mr. Holmes, were Tracey Adams, Amber Lynn, Karin Schubert, and Marina Hedman.[3] Subsequently, it was revealed that Holmes had consciously chosen not to reveal his HIV status to his co-stars before engaging in unprotected sex for the filming.[2][4][5][6] Holmes first confiding in January 1987 that he had AIDS,[7] and died from AIDS-related complications on March 13, 1988 at the age of 43.[8]

Nichols died in 1985 from unclear causes at the age of 39. Stevens died of AIDS[9] in 1989 at age 46. Parker died in 1992 from complications of AIDS at the age of 40.[10]

Marc Wallice, a known IV drug user, tested HIV positive in 1998.[11] On April 30, 1998, Wallice was diagnosed by AIM as HIV positive,[12] and it was alleged that he had hidden his HIV positive status for two years, with rumors and speculation that he intentionally hid his HIV positive status with fake blood work through several HIV testing cycles to continue working.[13] This speculation has been disputed and investigated using Wallice's tests,[14][15] but it has not been doubted that during this period Wallice infecting seven women on the set: Brooke Ashley,[16] Tricia Devereaux,[17] Caroline, Nena Cherry, Jordan McKnight, Barbara Doll and Kimberly Jade.[11]

2000s[edit]

2004[edit]

After four years of no HIV-issues within the industry, in April 2004, Darren James was diagnosed by AIM with HIV. It was concluded that James had been infected while engaging in unprotected anal sex with Brazilian actress Bianca Biaggi during a scene for the video Split That Booty 2 in Rio de Janeiro.[18][19][20] An urgent search was initiated by AIM for other potentially infected performers.[21] It was discovered that three actresses who had worked with James shortly after his return to the United States had also become infected. These were Canadian newcomer Lara Roxx, Miss Arroyo and Czech-born Jessica Dee.[22][23][24]

The heterosexual segment of the porn industry voluntarily shut down for 30 days (a 60-day moratorium was originally announced but it was lifted early) while it tried to deal with the situation.[25] Darren James, Jessica Dee and Lara Roxx were barred from further production of sexually explicit content. About sixty actors who had had contact with James or Roxx were barred from working until HIV tests were completed and they were declared HIV negative. A further estimated 130 actors who had had contact with James were tested and also received an HIV-negative result. A total of five actors were diagnosed with the virus by the end of the moratorium: one male and four females, including one transsexual.[18][19][20] The transsexual's name was Jennifer, in an unrelated case.[23]

2009[edit]

In June 2009, AIM reported that a female adult entertainer had tested positive, though it was believed that transmission occurred in her private life. LA County Public Health claimed that there had been sixteen "unreported" HIV cases in the adult film industry. The AIM Healthcare Foundation claimed those cases did not involve actors in production companies that followed their testing protocols and included members of the general public that use AIM Healthcare testing services or were individuals attempting to work in the porn industry who never were able to obtain employment in adult films because of their failure to provide proof negative status for HIV or other STD.[26]

2010[edit]

On October 12, 2010, AIM reported that an actor or actress had been infected with HIV. The name and gender of the person was not released to the public.[27] Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures were the first companies to announce a production shutdown. Although Wicked Pictures allow some performers to wear condoms, the company shut down to wait for the quarantine list.[28] Several other porn studios shut down as a preventative measure.[29] At the time, no other performers tested HIV positive.[30]

In December, the HIV positive performer was identified as Derrick Burts. Burts had worked in both heterosexual and gay pornography.[31] Despite contracting gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, Burts continued taking part in unprotected sex in films before quitting once he was diagnosed as being HIV positive. He was informed by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation that he had contracted the disease, which according to Burts, he received on set while having oral sex scene with another "HIV positive male actor".[32]

2011 - False positive report[edit]

In August 2011, the industry was temporarily shut down because of news of a performer was testing positive for the virus. Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, confirmed the situation.[citation needed] Production later resumed production when a performer was retested and it came back negative.[citation needed]

In the same year, AIM Medical shut down, forcing the industry to look for other mechanisms for supporting and enforcing regular testing.[33]

2013[edit]

In June 2013, a gay male performer tested positive for HIV in a routine blood test required by the industry PASS system (then known as APHSS), run by the Free Speed Coalition.[34] The anonymous performer had previously worked exclusively on condom-only movies.[35] The Free Speech Coalition conducted genealogy and determined that no infection took place on-set.[36]

In September, an adult female performer, Cameron Bay was tested positive for HIV.[37][38][39][40] In response, the Free Speech Coalition organized an industry wide moratorium from August 21 to August 27. On September 4, Rod Daily, Cameron Bay’s boyfriend at the time, announced he had also tested positive.[41] Two days later, a third anonymous performer tested positive [42] prompting the Free Speech Coalition to organize a second moratorium from September 6 to September 20.[43] All three infections were found via genealogy to have happened off-set.[43] Rumors were surfaced of a 4th positive test during September but they were never substantiated.[44]

In December 2013, a male porn actor tested positive for HIV causing the Free Speech Coalition to halt production for one week. This infection was also determined to have happened off set via genealogy. [36]

Testing and clinics[edit]

The revelations led to the creation of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM Healthcare or AIM) in 1998, which helped set up a monitoring system in the pornographic film industry in the United States, and pornographic film actors were required to be tested for HIV every 30 days.[45]

The AIM system required all sexual contact to be logged, with positive test results leading to all sexual contacts for the last three to six months being contacted and re-tested. The use of condoms became standard in films featuring homosexual anal sex. Due to accurate and mandatory medical tests, HIV and AIDS cases became rare in the pornographic film industry.

However, testing is voluntary (though refusal to be tested can result in the actor not being cast in a sex role) and there is no testing or monitoring of the pornographic film industry in other countries. There have been indications that actors have voluntarily left the industry, at least the industry in the United States, rather than be tested by AIM and have their AIDS and HIV status disclosed.

AIM closed all its operations in May 2011.

Legislation[edit]

Regulations to limit the spread of HIV[edit]

Due to this limited outbreak, the California State government considered regulating the industry. Some proposed to mandate the wearing of condoms during sexually explicit scenes. Industry insiders say this would ruin sales of their wares since the unprotected content is one of the selling points of some of their films. They say the wearing of condoms ruins the sexual fantasies of many viewers. Insiders say that such regulation would force the industry underground, out of California or overseas where it would be more prone to health risks for performers. The non-profit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM Healthcare) worked with the government, to develop policies that both the industry and the government would find acceptable.[46]

2012 ballot measure in Los Angeles[edit]

In the 2012 election voters in Los Angeles were presented with Measure B ("Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act") with the following text:[47]

Shall an ordinance be adopted requiring producers of adult films to obtain a County public health permit, to require adult film performers to use condoms while engaged in sex acts, to provide proof of blood borne pathogen training course, to post permit and notices to performers, and making violations of the ordinance subject to civil fines and criminal charges?

Proponents of the measure claimed pornography performers were significantly more likely to acquire HIV than the general population and that they are generally not given health insurance by their employers and so the tax payer would foot the bill for HIV treatment. Opponents claimed it to be a waste of tax dollars because of existing stringent HIV testing protocols and because nobody has contracted HIV on set in the past 8 years in the United States.

The measure passed with 57% voting for and 43% voting against.[48][49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff. "L.A. pushes for condoms in porn legislation, but state lawmakers balk". Capitol Weekly. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b John Patrick (2008). Huge. STARbooks Press. p. 13. ISBN 1-934187-29-1. 
  3. ^ Steve Javors (21 November 2007). "Paradise Visuals Inks Distribution Deal With Anabolic". XBIZ. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ Holden, Stephen (January 12, 2001). "WADD: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes". NY Times. 
  5. ^ William Hawes (2009). Caligula and the fight for artistic freedom: the making, marketing and impact of the Bob Guccione film. McFarland. p. 203. ISBN 0-7864-3986-6. 
  6. ^ "La mala vida del rey del porno (Spanish)". El Mundo (May 16, 2004). Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ Basten, Fred; Laurie Holmes and John C. Holmes (1998). Porn King: The John Holmes Story. John Holmes Inc. ISBN 1-880047-69-1. 
  8. ^ "John Holmes and the Wonderland Murders: AIDS and Misty Dawn". crimelibrary.com. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  9. ^ Skinflicks: The Inside Story of the X-Rated Video Industry - David Jennings - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  10. ^ Edmonson, Roger. Clone: The Life and Legacy of Al Parker Gay Superstar. Alyson Books. p. 205. ISBN 1555835295. 
  11. ^ a b Excalibur's Porn Star Mall. Biography - Marc Wallice Porn Star
  12. ^ "Porn Industry Still Struggles With Condom Issue". ABC News. American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  13. ^ Harvey, Dennis (October 3, 2005). "3 Needles". Variety (Los Angeles, California: Reed Elsevier Inc.). ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 29805619. 
  14. ^ Staff. "Marc Wallice Closer to Vindication?". Adult Video News. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Staff. "Marc Wallice Speaks Out on his Role in the HIV Controversy: "Brooke Ashley Is Off Her Fucking Rocker!"". Adult Video News. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Kernes, Mark (2005-08-11). "Powers Shoots HIV-Positive, Hetero Scene". Adult Video News (Philadelphia, PA: Adult Video News, Inc.). ISSN 0883-7090. OCLC 12197226. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  17. ^ Allen, Jane E. (2010). "Actor's Positive HIV Test Disrupts Filming as Clinic Traces On-Screen Sex Partners". ABC News. American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  18. ^ a b AVN - Test Results Pending for Two Performers
  19. ^ a b Gene Ross (2007-05-27). [http://www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=22883 In Brazil the use of condoms is mandatory in penetration scenes, so actually they were breaking the law. "Lara Roxx Timeline Begs Questions: Darren James got it from Lara Roxx, not the other way around?"]. Adult FYI. 
  20. ^ a b "Pyramid of potential infection". Los Angeles Times. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2008-03-20. "Time line of potential first and second generation infections" 
  21. ^ Nick Madigan (2004-05-10). "Voice of Health in a Pornographic World". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-26. "
    Sharon Mitchell — Well-behaved women rarely make history"
     
  22. ^ Nick Madigan (2004-04-30). "New H.I.V. Infection Found in Sex-Film Industry". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  23. ^ a b AVN, May 5th, 2004: Another First-Gen Woman Diagnosed as HIV-Positive
  24. ^ AVN, April 26th, 2004: Viral Load Results Indicate James was 'Patient Zero'
  25. ^ AIDS in pornography industry of California contained says adult industry body
  26. ^ More porn HIV cases disclosed
  27. ^ "Porn Actor has Tested Positive for HIV; Industry Clinic Officials Confirm a Quarantine is in Effect". Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Wicked Pictures and Vivid Entertainment Suspend Production as a Precaution Amid New HIV Case in Porn Performer". Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Positive HIV Test Halts Porn Shoots at Companies". Yahoo! News. October 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  30. ^ "HIV Tests Negative for Porn Actors Who Performed with 'Patient Zero'". Los Angeles Times. October 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  31. ^ Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (December 8, 2010). "HIV-positive porn performer speaks out". Los Angeles Times. 
  32. ^ "Derrick Burts: HIV in pornography: the naked truth". The Independent (London). December 23, 2010. 
  33. ^ Dennis Romero (May 3, 2011). "Porn Clinic AIM Closes For Good: Valley-Based Industry Scrambles to Find New STD Testing System". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  34. ^ "FSC Pass". FSC PASS. 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  35. ^ "Adult Perfomer Tests Positive for HIV » The Sex.com Blog". Sex.com. Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  36. ^ a b "ViralGenealogyConclusive:PositivePerformerfromDecemberMoratoriumContractedVirusinPersonalLife". PASS Blog. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  37. ^ Abby Sewell (August 24, 2013). "Porn actress' positive HIV test roils adult entertainment world". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  38. ^ Joe Kemp (August 23, 2013). "Porn star Cameron Bay tests positive for HIV". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  39. ^ Sydney Lupkin (August 23, 2013). "Porn Star Cameron Bay Opens Up About HIV Scare". Nightline ABC News. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  40. ^ Rory Carroll (August 25, 2013). "US porn actor's HIV test prompts calls for moratorium on production". The Guardian (Los Angeles). Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Rod Daily, Gay Porn Star, Says He is HIV Positive". Huffington Post. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "Yet Another HIV-Positive Porn Performer Leads To Third Shutdown". Huffington Post. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  43. ^ a b 2013 "FSC Announces Moratorium To Life On Friday, September 20". FSC. September 2013. 
  44. ^ "Moratorium Update". Free Speech Coalition. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  45. ^ Basten, Fred; Laurie Holmes and John C. Holmes (1998). Porn King: The John Holmes Story. John Holmes Inc. ISBN 1-880047-69-1. 
  46. ^ The Adult Film Industry: Time to Regulate?
  47. ^ "Measure B: Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act - Los Angeles County, CA". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  48. ^ Shergold, Adam (8 November 2012). "California votes to mandate condoms in porn industry". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  49. ^ "Porn industry trade group vows to fight condom requirement". Los Angeles Times. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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