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L.A. Porn Production Shuts Down Over HIV Report

L.A. Porn Production Shuts Down Over HIV Report
File photo of porn folk by Nate "Igor" Smith for L.A. Weekly

Updated at the bottom with a response from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The adult video industry's trade group today called for a moratorium on production after a performer might have tested positive for HIV.

The Los Angeles–based Free Speech Coalition said in a statement that one of the facilities used by porn stars under the industry's voluntary, twice-a-month STD testing protocol "reported a possible positive HIV test for an adult performer."

In the past, the FSC's moratoriums have been honored by most of the well-known adult studios:

The idea is to ensure that any possible viruses don't spread on set. The industry claims there hasn't been an on-set transmission of HIV in more than 10 years, largely as a result of a testing system that has alerted producers to STD-infected performers, including a few who were diagnosed with HIV last year.

See also: Porn Biz Sees Fourth Case of HIV

Diane Duke, CEO of the coalition, said:

We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed. The next steps will be to perform additional tests, determine a timeline, and identify any first-generation partners.

We want to make sure all performers are protected. The performers’ health and safety is the most important thing.

A bill in Sacramento that would have explicitly required condom use on-set for adult video was essentially killed earlier this month.

L.A. Porn Production Shuts Down Over HIV Report
Keith Plocek for L.A. Weekly

See also: Porn's Condom Law Goes Down

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the proposed statewide law, argues that condoms are required anyway because federal law seeks to protect employees from the transmission of blood-borne pathogens in the workplace.

The industry has resisted condom use, even in its home base of Los Angeles County, where it's now the law, because it says consumers won't buy it.

Porn's titans say that requiring condoms would only push production out-of-state and underground, where it would be less safe.

FSC today asked for "all production to halt immediately" ... "until further notice."

[Added at 3:15 p.m.]: In a subsequent statement that was sent to us, Duke said:

There was a positive test at one of our testing centers. Confirmatory tests are not yet back but we are taking every precaution to protect performers and to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool.

[Update at 5:48 p.m.]: AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein issued this statement: 

It is almost one year to the date since Cameron Bay, another adult film performer ... sero-converted and became HIV positive while working in the industry. Two weeks ago, a statewide bill that would have strengthened and improved workplace safety for adult film performers like Cameron, Rod Daily, Derek Burts, Darren James and other individuals infected while working in the industry—including this latest individual—died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. To the adult film industry and to Cal/OSHA, we ask: how many more infections will it take before the industry will follow the law on condom use and that regulators like Cal/OSHA will act on updating its existing Bloodborne Pathogens regulations on these sets? For years, the porn industry has simply chosen to ignore these laws, with few, if any, repercussions. We vowed two weeks ago that would work with legislators to reintroduce similar legislation again next year and are proud of the fact that we moved this legislation farther along in this session than any previous year.

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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