The porn industry has been battling against mandatory condoms in adult production, saying that consumers don't want to see them and that its voluntary performer testing works.
One of those performers is the newly initiated Sydney Leathers of Anthony Weiner-sexting fame. She had a close one there: Her debut title, Weiner and Me, involved a sex scene with performer Xander Corvus, who happened to work recently with Cameron Bay, patient zero in porn's latest HIV scare.
Leathers, who insisted from the get-go that she doesn't have HIV, is now coming out as pro-condom:
The 23-year-old says she tested three times for HIV following her scene and that each time she came up negative. That wouldn't necessarily mean she's out of the woods, as the virus can take three months, sometimes longer, to show.
But adult-biz blogger Mike South (NSFW link) recently reported that Corvus turned up negative too, pointing to a strong likelihood that Leathers is in the clear.
And the industry's health organization last night lifted its moratorium on adult production following testing of all those who "worked" with Bay.
Still, the episode got Leathers thinking about condoms, which are actually required by law in most of L.A. County when it comes to adult productions, whose producers nonetheless have thumbed their noses at a rule that has yet to really be enforced.
See also: Sydney Leathers: "I Do Not Have HIV."
In a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets she says:
I feel like it's my duty to stress the importance of using condoms. Whether you're on set filming a porn or you're thinking about having a one night stand in your real life, just don't risk it. Use protection. Whether your partner is a porn star or not, you could be putting yourself at risk. You don't know who all they have been with. No one should have to go through what I've been going through ...
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... Even though I was told I wasn't at risk, I've still been tested and will continue to get tested. ... What's so crazy about this is that the only time I've been sexually active in many months was during filming, so just think, ONE sexual experience could put you in a scary situation ... If I could go back and do it again, obviously I'd use a condom. But in the moment, I felt safe because my partner and I had been tested right before filming. Yes, the porn industry is very good about testing. I bet when you meet a new guy for the first time he doesn't show you his clean STD test results. That's what's different about the porn world. But aside from testing, I do think the industry should get on board with condoms after this recent scare.
In a statement to the Weekly, Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which spearheaded the Measure B voter initiative that made condoms the law in porn last year, welcomed Leathers' comments as an "epiphany:"
I have profound empathy for what both Cameron Bay and Sydney Leathers have had to endure as part of their respective careers in the adult film industry and understand and appreciate the epiphany Ms. Leathers has come to regarding condom use. But how many other adult film performers have to be exposed or become infected with STDs or HIV before the porn industry complies with the law and protects its workers? Between the recent federal court ruling that the requirement for condom use in porn is constitutional and revelations of Ms. Bay's HIV infection, another performer's hepatitis C infection and an industry-wide syphilis scare, the landscape around adult film has changed dramatically over the last weeks. Fortunately, legislators in Sacramento have opportunity to enact real protections for adult film performers on a statewide basis this year by supporting AB 640, Assemblymember Isadore Hall's latest incarnation of his bill to require condom or other sexual barrier use in all adult films produced in California.