Porn Gets Back to Work After Spring HIV Scare

Porn Gets Back to Work After Spring HIV Scare
File photo by Nate "Igor" Smith/L.A. Weekly

The adult video business was getting back to work this week after an HIV scare prompted a porn trade group to urge a production shutdown while the situation was sorted out.

Turns out the test that prompted the alert was a "false positive," the head of that group, the Free Speech Coalition, told us over the weekend. 

"Confirmatory results from yesterday's possible positive test for HIV by an adult performer have come back negative, indicating a false positive," said the organization's CEO, Diane Duke. "Production can resume immediately."

The scare came with the backdrop of a years-long battle between the San Fernando Valley-based porn industry and the Hollywood-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has been trying to get the business to adopt condom use on-set.

The foundation has successfully pushed for mandatory condom rules in the city and county of Los Angeles and is now aiming for an initiative that would ask California voters to make condoms the law statewide for adult video.

Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for AHF, told us over the weekend that "this incident again serves as a reminder that routine testing is simply not prevention."

The industry argues that its customers don't want to see condoms and that forcing them on it would only push porn out-of-state and underground, where it would be more dangerous. It says it's voluntary twice-a-month STD testing protocol for performers works.

Duke of the FSC:

It's important to remember that production holds are part of a functioning safety system. So long as performers have private lives, we can never eliminate their risk of contracting HIV. However, we can make sure that should a performer contract HIV, that we stop it before it is transmitted to other performers.

We understand that production holds are difficult, but they are necessary for the system to work. In the meantime, we thank everyone for observing the production hold.

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

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