Porn's Latest HIV Case Happened Far Away From California -- Just Like Other High-Profile Cases: So Why Force Condoms on L.A. Industry?
See Wednesday's story on how the performer was working for a well-known company, here. Also, updated at the bottom: An industry trade-group rep tells the Weekly a few things need to be made absolutely clear. First posted at 7:08 a.m.
The latest HIV scare for the adult video business happened out-of-state, according to the industry lobby known as the Free Speech Coalition.
An FSC statement forwarded to the Weekly notes that the test indicating a positive was conducted "outside of California," and director and film distributor Michael Whiteacre, who works closely with the organization, says that rumors are this case originated in Florida and that any subsequent exposures would likely happen there.
Whiteacre says that all the recent high-profile cases of HIV infections of adult performers happened outside the L.A.-based industry and its testing protocols. Why is this important?
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The L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been using the cases to press its argument that testing isn't enough: L.A.-based porn makers should be forced to require condoms on-set.
Whiteacre notes that a 2009 case involved a patient in Nevada and that the high-profile case of Derrick Burts last year was widely believed to have originated in Florida. Burts was also exposed as someone who was offering services on an escort site. A 2004 case involved an L.A.-based performer who had gone on-location in Brazil, where female performers were Brazilian and not part of the L.A. testing system. (Ron Jeremy suggested to this writer at the time that this particular male porn star had dabbled in off-set sex).
Justine Joli also opposes the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's efforts.
Here's the thing: The AHF is trying to get an initiative on the city ballot that would require the use of condoms for L.A.-permitted porn shoots.
The organization argues that condoms will make the industry safer. Hard to see this as untrue. Unless you consider Whiteacre's argument, which is this:
While L.A. is the nucleus of porn, it's not the only place it's produced. And requiring condoms could force production out-of-state, where regulations aren't as strict. Even porn's once-a-month testing protocol for performers pretty much only applies to L.A.-area shoots.
Whiteacre goes so far as to argue that AHF's efforts have already had their effect -- forcing production to move to places like Nevada and Florida where these very cases are cropping up outside the L.A.-zone protocols.
... We can now see the tragic consequences of driving adult production away from the San Fernando Valley (and/or underground).
Following yesterday's HIV-positive revelation, AHF chief Michael Weinstein told the Los Angeles Times:
How many performers must become infected with HIV and other serious STDs before the industry will clean up its act and government will do the right thing?
Read Whiteacre's comments here.
Update: A FSC rep reached out to us this afternoon to make a few things clear:
1) " ... There is NO confirmation of the performer or any performer testing positive at this time."
2) [Because the reported exposure happened outside California,] "at this point there is nothing to suggest that the occurrence has affected the Los Angeles-based industry, but producers, agents and performers are cooperating in order to uphold health & safety protocols."
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