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Porn's HIV Problem Has Little to do With Porn, Industry Says

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Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:16 PM

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO OF PORN'S AVN AWARDS BY NATE 'IGOR' SMITH/LA WEEKLY.
  • File photo of porn's AVN Awards by Nate 'Igor' Smith/LA Weekly.
The porn industry's trade group says the latest HIV scare to rock the industry involved a performer who appeared to have contracted the virus off set.

See also: Porn Biz Shut Down Again Over Yet Another HIV Case.

A Free Speech Coalition statement sent out early this morning was a clear shot across the bow of critics who decry the industry's continued refusal to require condoms on set (even though that's the law in most of L.A. County if not the state of California):

The latest case of a performer turning up positive triggered a voluntary production shutdown from about Dec. 6 to Dec. 13.

Industry blogger Mike South ID'd the patient as a male porn star.

The shutdown was the third one this year. Reports of at least three performers turning up positive during the summer triggered so-called production moratoriums in August and then again in September.

In all cases, the FSC says, the HIV transmissions occurred off set. The group argues that, because no other performers turned up positive, it's safe to say the HIV didn't come from within the industry.

The Free Speech Coalition states:

There have been two other moratoriums for the adult industry this past year. In both cases, the viral genealogies showed that the virus was acquired offset and was prevented from being transmitted within the performer pool by the industry testing system (known as PASS).

The organization is trying to bolster its argument that its twice-a-month testing protocol for performers is working and that condoms are unnecessary.

The latest case proves its point, FSC states:

All people within the performer pool with whom the positive performer had had at-risk contact were immediately tested for HIV. All other adult performers were required to retest as an added precaution. No other tests were reactive for the virus, meaning the positive performer had contracted the virus from a source outside the performer pool.

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO OF PORN'S AVN AWARDS BY NATE 'IGOR' SMITH/LA WEEKLY.
  • File photo of porn's AVN Awards by Nate 'Igor' Smith/LA Weekly.

FSC CEO Diane Duke:

A moratorium is a preventative measure used to protect adult performers. Like a ringing car alarm, a moratorium is a sign of a working system, not a broken one. Adult performers -- like all of us -- have personal lives. We cannot control, and should not want to control, people's personal lives. What we can do is make sure that HIV is stopped at the industry gate by testing protocols.

Adult performers also have professional lives outside of porn. Some are known to do "privates," a.k.a. private "performances" with high-paying clients. There are performers who advertise their escort services on local adult websites.

See also: Porn Defends the Money Shot.

The L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been battling the industry over mandatory condom use for years and was behind the successful effort to make prophylactic use on set the law for most of L.A. County.

See also: Porn Loses 1 Condom Battle, But War Remains.

The state also considers condom use to be mandatory, but enforcement is spotty.

The industry says consumers don't want to see condoms and that enforcement would push the business underground and out-of-state, where things could be more dangerous and shady.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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