Porn News

Adults’ HIV alarm may make industry safer

Porn Valley- The worsening HIV scare among adult-film actors has forced some producers to consider extending a moratorium on production while others have turned to making movies that use safer practices.

With five adult-movie performers having tested positive for HIV in the past month, filmmakers are mulling a 30-day extension on the filming moratorium and shifting toward films of couples who have sex exclusively with each other, or featuring fetishes or performers who use condoms.

“Condoms are sexy, safe, beautiful, part of a healthy sex life and it’s a message that is very important to make,” said Brittany Andrews, an adult-film star who uses condoms in her shoots.

“I’ve been through five of these HIV scares and I’ve never been worried because I choose to always wear condoms. I also do a lot of fetish stuff and female dominance.”

Much of the Valley’s multibillion-dollar adult-movie business stopped production April 15 after two performers tested positive for the AIDS virus and more than 50 others were quarantined pending further testing.

Canadian glamour model “Kaylee” and her boyfriend “Tony” came to Los Angeles earlier this week to film together without other partners while most of the adult-production companies are heeding the 60-day moratorium on filming while performers await HIV test results.

“I totally support couples in this business that only work with their significant other,” said Joey Serio, a former adult-film star and the talent manager at Adult Staffing Services in Los Angeles. “It takes a lot for them to stand their ground and only work with each other. There are about 25 couples who have been around for a while.”

On Wednesday, a veteran adult-film performer became the fifth to test positive for HIV during the current outbreak.

The performer is known by the stage name of “Miss Arroyo” and had worked with “Darren James,” a longtime adult-movie actor believed to be the source of the outbreak that has nearly shut the industry down. James is believed to have contracted HIV while filming in Brazil.

On Tuesday, an actor identified as a transsexual named “Jennifer” tested positive, but the case did not appear to be related to the other four cases.

Sharon Mitchell, a former adult-movie actress who now runs the HIV screening program for the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, said she expects to know by Monday whether any additional people on quarantine also contracted HIV. If no one else has contracted the virus, Mitchell said it won’t be necessary to extend the quarantine an additional 30 days. The moratorium is set to last through June 8.

“We are not looking at a lot of people out there working and spreading the disease,” Mitchell said. “We are looking at containment. The benefit of containment is that we have isolated everyone. It’s just a matter of waiting for 28 to 30 days after they worked with (James).”

The outbreak, the first in the sex industry since seven cases occurred in 1998 and one in 1999 among heterosexual porn actors — has prompted many companies to halt production.

“Some of the girls are going back to dancing,” Serio said. “A lot of the other ones are going back home. The rest of us are just making ends meet. It’s a tough thing to deal with at the present time.”

Ty Endicott, president of Bouncy Pictures Inc. in Los Angeles, said a number of performers were very “shaken up” by the outbreak and have taken jobs outside the industry.

“This is more of a knee-jerk reaction,” Endicott said. “I think some of these people will be back.”

Since the outbreak, some adult-film companies have encouraged performers to work for them in performances that do not require intercourse, including films featuring pantyhose, foot and leg fetishes.

Another company is offering performers $200 to model for still shots on sexually orientated Web sites.

“First of all, it’s not an absolute moratorium,” Endicott said. “It’s more of a slowdown. I think people are being a lot more conservative. Our company is thinking about some concepts that will make the industry safer.

“Ironically, one state legislator is thinking about legislation that matches our concept. Right now, the industry has testing every 30 days. We are thinking about narrowing that window down to two weeks. So, if somebody wants to shoot, they will have to have a test current within two weeks.”

On Tuesday, state lawmakers shelved for further study a bill that would require the use of condoms and mandatory semimonthly testing for sexually transmitted diseases for adult-film performers.

Other film companies are asking porn stars to shoot solo photos and video for Web sites. One company is seeking actors who will perform in mature-rated “soft-core simulated sex” shows on late-night cable television.

Jenna Jameson, who according to Rolling Stone magazine is the actress who “put the star in porn star,” has launched an adult industry assistance fund to help performers idled by the HIV scare.

“The actors in the porn industry lead a life that is hand-to-mouth, other than jobs they incur on a daily, weekly or monthly basis,” said Rhett Pardon, a reporter for, a resource Web site for the adult-film industry.

Pardon said there are about 1,200 adult-film actors and actresses in the Los Angeles area.

“These individuals don’t have health benefits, and they rely on salaries of between $200 and $5,000 per shoot, or one to a few days of work. It’s tough times for most of them.”


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