HIV/AIDS in the pornographic film industry
In the 1980s, an outbreak of HIV led to a number of deaths of erotic actors and actresses, including John Holmes, Wade Nichols, Marc Stevens and Al Parker. This led to the creation of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, which helped set up a system in the U.S. adult film industry where erotic actors are tested for HIV every 30 days.
HIV detection system
All sexual contact is logged, and positive test results lead 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 cases are nowadays rare in the pornographic industry. The system seemed to be effective, with very few AIDS cases among porn actors. Marc Wallice, a known IV drug user, tested HIV positive in 1998, sending shockwaves throughout the industry.
2004 HIV scare
In April 2004, an HIV scare rocked the heterosexual US porn industry when two pornographic actors tested HIV positive in California, the center of U.S. porn production. The straight 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.
Three actors, Darren James, Jessica Dee and Lara Roxx, initially tested positive and were barred from further sexually explicit content production. About sixty actors who had had contact with James or Roxx were barred from working until their next round of HIV testing was completed and they were declared HIV negative. A further estimated 130 actors who had had contact with Gaynor 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.
Proposed regulations to limit the spread of HIV
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) is working with the government, trying to develop policies that both the industry and the government would find acceptable.
Additional reports in 2009
In June 2009, the AIM Healthcare Foundation reported that a female adult entertainer had become HIV+-though it is believed transmission occurred in her private life. LA County Public Health claimed that there had been 16 "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 prove freedom from HIV or other STD's. No other actress or actors have been infected with the virus.
On October 12, 2010, the AIM Healthcare Foundation reported that an actor or actress had been infected with HIV. The name and gender of the person was not released to the public. Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures were the first few companies to announce production shutdown. Although Wicked Pictures allow some performers to wear condoms, the company is shutting down to wait for the quarantine list. Several porn studios have shut down production to prevent infection of the virus.
No other performers have been tested HIV positive.
In December 2010, the HIV positive performer was identified as Derrick Burts. Burts has worked in straight and gay pornography. Despite contracting gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis Burts continued taking part in unprotected sex in heterosexual, but condom only homosexual 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".
As of August 30, 2011, the industry was temporarily shut down because of news of an outbreak when a performer was tested positive for the virus. Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, confirmed the situation. They later resumed production when a performer was retested and it came back negative.
2012 ballot measure in Los Angeles
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.
In June 2013, a gay male performer tested positive for HIV in one of the routine, pre-shooting blood tests for Men.com. The anonymous performer had only worked on condom-only movies.
In September, an adult female performer, Cameron Bay was tested positive for HIV. In response, the Free Speech Coalition organized a moratorium by the adult industry in the Los Angeles area from August 21 to August 27. In September, three more pornographic actors tested positive for HIV, bringing the total number known to be infected to four.
- Basten, Fred; Laurie Holmes and John C. Holmes (1998). Porn King: The John Holmes Story. John Holmes Inc. ISBN 1-880047-69-1.
- Biography at Excalibur's Porn Star Mall
- AIDS in pornography industry of California contained says adult industry body
- AVN :: Test Results Pending for Two Performers
- Gene Ross (2007-05-27). "Lara Roxx Timeline Begs Questions: Darren James got it from Lara Roxx, not the other way around?". Adult FYI.
- "Pyramid of potential infection". Los Angeles Times. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2008-03-20. "Time line of potential first and second generation infections"
- The Adult Film Industry: Time to Regulate?
- More porn HIV cases disclosed
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (December 8, 2010). "HIV-positive porn performer speaks out". Los Angeles Times.
- "Derrick Burts: HIV in pornography: the naked truth". The Independent (London). December 23, 2010.
- 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.
- "Measure B: Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act - Los Angeles County, CA". Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Shergold, Adam (8 November 2012). "California votes to mandate condoms in porn industry". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Porn industry trade group vows to fight condom requirement". Los Angeles Times. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Adult Perfomer Tests Positive for HIV » The Sex.com Blog". Sex.com. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Abby Sewell (August 24, 2013). "Porn actress' positive HIV test roils adult entertainment world". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Joe Kemp (August 23, 2013). "Porn star Cameron Bay tests positive for HIV". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Sydney Lupkin (August 23, 2013). "Porn Star Cameron Bay Opens Up About HIV Scare". Nightline ABC News. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- 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.
- "Porn star's positive HIV test prompts calls for industry shutdown". The Guardian. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Fourth porn actor diagnosed with HIV". The Guardian. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.