Calif. to probe latest HIV case in porn industry

Jun 13, 2009 By MICHAEL R. BLOOD , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- State health officials are looking into the latest HIV case reported in California's multibillion-dollar porn industry, fearing that reckless practices on film sets might be raising the risk of new infections.

It was revealed this week that a woman tested positive for immediately after making an adult film. The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health is attempting to identify the filmmaker, at which point a formal investigation would begin.

"Our concern is that we need to quickly get to the employer so that we can work with them to change their practices to ensure the proper safety measures are being taken to prevent the additional spread of HIV," agency spokesman Dean Fryer said.

The actress's positive result was reported by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which declined to reveal her name.

Known in the industry as AIM, the organization tests hundreds of actors each month in the San Fernando Valley, where the U.S. porn industry is headquartered. It grants those who pass certificates allowing them to work.

Los Angeles County say there have been 22 confirmed HIV cases in industry performers since 2004.

Although the co-stars of the woman involved in the latest case have tested negative, they have been quarantined from acting for the time being and advised to be retested in two weeks because medical experts say it takes almost that long for a person to show signs of infection.

"All required reporting has been complied with," the foundation said in a statement Thursday on its Web site. "This is not a major event."

Fryer said the foundation has not cooperated with state investigators in previous cases, citing privacy laws. Foundation officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Government health officials say they are dubious about safe-sex practices on adult film sets, despite assurances from the industry. Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health, said there are "persistent reports" about risky behavior.

Regulations require filmmakers to provide protection against the transmission of disease, such as condoms or using film techniques that involve simulations.

"There is no reason these infections should be occurring if these employers are following these precautions," Fryer said.

After an HIV outbreak in 2004 spread panic through the industry and briefly shut down production at several studios, many producers began making condoms a requirement. But they said both actors and audiences quickly rebelled.

"What happened was the talent didn't want to use condoms," said Steven Hirsch, co-Chief Executive of Vivid Entertainment Group, one of the industry's largest filmmakers. "As a result, we decided to go condom optional."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Patients notified of HIV, hepatitis risk

Nov 14, 2007

Officials have notified about 630 patients of a New York area physician who reused needles and syringes that they are at risk for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Breaking the silence online

Dec 20, 2005

A website that allows sex partners to inform each other about their sexual health has been launched in Los Angeles.

Syphilis making a comeback

May 09, 2007

Three years after Virginia public health officials thought syphilis was almost eradicated, the disease has surged, with the number of cases doubling.

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

14 hours ago

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dan42day
not rated yet Jun 14, 2009
California State, be sure to put on a condom before you start probing!