Sunday, April 18, 2004

Associated Press

Canadian caught in porn industry HIV scare

LOS ANGELES — Pornography movie actors said they will continue working in the multibillion-dollar U.S. industry, despite an HIV scare, as more producers joined a voluntary moratorium that has shut down many sets.

About a dozen porn production companies halted shooting until at least June 8 after two performers tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS. Hustler Video and VCA Pictures said Friday they were halting work indefinitely.

The scare began this week when it was announced a performer had tested positive for HIV, which he apparently contracted while shooting a film last month in Brazil.

A Canadian actress he worked with after returning to the United States, identified as Lara Roxx, also has tested positive for HIV. The woman has worked in the adult film industry for only three months.

The names of about 65 performers who had sex with the two HIV-infected actors or slept with their movie sex partners were posted on industry quarantine sites that prevent them from working for two months until their next HIV tests are completed, said Sharon Mitchell, executive director of the non-profit Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation.

Meanwhile, about 80 actors and actresses flocked to the health foundation headquarters Friday for blood tests, up from 60 on a normal day, Mitchell said.

A 30-year-old performer who identified himself as Michael came in, even though he had not worked with any of the people who potentially were exposed to HIV.

Like other actors in the porn industry, Michael said he was not overly concerned about contracting sexually transmitted diseases because "everyone's tested, everyone's clean."

Many of those associated with the adult film industry said unprotected sex is common in shoots, despite the HIV scare.

The last industry HIV scare was in 1999, when a male actor tested positive for the disease. He no longer performs and no other actors were infected.

Pornography, a $4-billion to $13-billion annual industry based largely in the San Fernando Valley, differs from the heavily regulated sex industry in nearby Nevada, where prostitutes are required to have regular HIV testing.

The porn industry polices itself and most major production companies refuse to hire actors, unless they can produce a clean blood test taken within the last month.

[USA 2004] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: April 25, 2004
Last modified: April 25, 2004
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710