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: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

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

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

13 hours ago

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

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!

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.