Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Porn performer tests positive for HIV: Is it really necessary that the state know his/her name?

The LA Times is reporting some rather disturbing news today, that a pornographic film performer has tested positive for HIV.
An adult film performer in San Fernando Valley's lucrative porn industry has tested HIV-positive, prompting at least two well-known adult movie production companies to suspend filming as a precaution.
That is probably a good thing. You want to have time to notify any of his/her performance partners, test them, see how many others might have been affected. The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) is doing just that.

In the meantime:
Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based porn trade association, said it was too early Tuesday to draw conclusions.

"What we know is someone tested HIV-positive; we don't know the circumstances. What we do know is AIM has identified that someone is HIV-positive and is taking care of it," Duke said.
Yes, let's get all the facts. By all means. Including the names of the performer, and any of his or her partners... and release them to the state of California?
When a performer tested HIV positive at AIM last year, Martin said, state officials demanded that AIM disclose the performer's work history. The performer filed a restraining order in Alameda County Superior Court barring AIM from releasing the information to state officials; the case is pending, Martin said.

Industry officials said that the actress had worked rarely and that no one else in the industry was infected as a result.

It was unclear immediately how far-reaching the implications were in the most recent case.
If the person is no longer in the industry, then I'm not sure why the government would need to keep track of him/her. Does the government keep track of everyone who is HIV positive?

For that matter, does the LA Times report on every new case of HIV?
A 2004 HIV outbreak in the San Fernando Valley-based porn industry shut down production for a month.

In that case, also detected through testing at the AIM clinic, more than 30 companies voluntarily stopped filming to wait for results on dozens of adult performers who had engaged in sex scenes with either Darren James or the three female performers he infected with HIV. James, who had recently worked outside the U.S., had tested negative just days before performing and was not aware of his positive status when he infected his costars.
I would think that pornographic film companies have a fairly strong incentive to do everything they can to prevent the spread of HIV in the industry. Otherwise, all they're doing is making snuff films.

The state government hasn't exactly shown itself to be completely honest in its dealings in the matter of pornographic film workplace safety:
Los Angeles County public health officials backtracked Tuesday on their statements last week that at least 16 unpublicized cases of HIV in adult film performers had been reported to them since 2004.

Despite their release of data to The Times describing the cases as "adult film performers," the county's top health official acknowledged that the agency does not know whether any of those people were actively working as porn performers at the time of their positive test.
...
County public health officials said they had mislabeled all reports from the AIM clinic as adult performers when, in fact, information about their occupation is unclear. Although the clinic was created primarily to serve the porn industry, it serves other clients.
Um. Oops?

Then again, how honest and trustworthy are those involved in making pornographic films? I don't know, because I've never made such films.

Apparently, the non use of condoms in pornographic films is a violation of state workplace codes.
The exchange of bodily fluids at a workplace in California breaks Cal/OSHA laws, but some experts within the healthcare and porn industries feel if harshly enforced, porn in Southern California will go underground and become unregulated by AIM, making it more of a breeding ground for disease.
Since people like their porn, there will be a market for it. Better to keep the market "overground," I guess. As for AIM, they seem not to be just a front for the industry:
The Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Health Care Foundation is a non-profit corporation formed to care for the physical and emotional needs of sex workers and people who work in the adult entertainment industry through our HIV and STD testing and treatment, our counseling services and our support group programs. We are happy to be serving the sex worker community and our goal is to provide health care for the body, mind, emotion and spirit, as well as to take a leadership position in promoting safe and responsible sexual behavior, not only for the adult entertainment industry, but for everyone.
It's hard to argue with any of that.

I wouldn't venture to make any type of guess as to whether or not stricter government controls would increase pornographic film safety. This is a complicated and emotionally charged issue, and the story is extremely sad. What I will do is turn to the blog of a pornographic film performer, James Deen, who had this to say on the matter [and oh boy I can't stress this enough, Mr. Deen's blog is NOT SAFE FOR WORK]:
Today was crazy… I don’t really want to talk about it. Health and safety are super important and I strongly promote safe sex. I honestly have only had sex with I think 12 girls without condoms (that’s non porno girls of coarse). All 12 of those girls were girls that I knew were tested and on birth control. Part of it is because I’m super neurotic about std’s but also it’s because it just seems right. I know that a lot of people probably have no clue why I’m talking about any of this but whatever. I think safe sex is very important and I HIGHLY promote the usage of condoms and the idea of getting tested as much as possible.

All that being said… I totally had some super well tested and safe sex with Ariella Ferrera. It was awesome!!! She is super awesome in the sack… Well we had sex on gym equipment so I guess it is more accurate to say she is super awesome on gym equipment. Either way she rocks and here are her boobs.
I will defer to Mr. Deen on this matter. Ariella Ferrera probably is super awesome on gym equipment.

 James Deen in a contemplative mood between gym equipment scenes.

James Deen pic source.

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