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LA Times Doesn’t Name 3rd Performer

Porn Valley- Another adult film performer [Jessica Dee] – the third in 2 1/2 weeks – has tested positive for HIV, healthcare advocates for the pornographic movie industry said Thursday.

The actress, whose identity was not released, had already been on an adult industry “quarantine list” of more than 50 potentially infected performers for the last 2 1/2 weeks. The list was created after actor Darren James tested positive for HIV, which spurred much of the multibillion-dollar industry to temporarily shut down production. Within days of James, another actress who worked with him also tested positive for the virus.

Despite the latest case, the number of potentially infected performers remains the same because the sex partners of that actress were already on the quarantine list, said Sharon Mitchell, executive director of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, or AIM, a Sherman Oaks-based nonprofit group that conducts HIV testing for the porn industry.

“This is the beauty of containment,” Mitchell said, referring to the common industry practice of requiring performers to undergo monthly HIV testing before producers would allow them to work.

While some expressed sympathy for the actress, others said performers should realize the consequences of sex without condoms – a prevalent practice within the industry.

“If some guy offers you $1,500 [to perform unsafe sex] and you’re stupid enough to do it, that’s your fault,” said producer Rob Spallone of Starworld Productions. “I tell girls don’t let anybody talk you into doing anything you don’t want to do – even me.”

Stopping the transmission of HIV would require performers to do something, he said, they have never done before: band together. “If they were smart enough, they’d all say they make the rules and tell us as directors exactly what they’re willing to do and what they’re not,” Spallone said. “They have the power; they’re just too stupid to use it.”

In a separate development Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California denounced Los Angeles County health officials for taking from AIM’s office the medical records of the more than 50 performers who had been on the adult industry quarantine list. The records included the performers’ real names as well as contact information.

“In our opinion, this order was in violation of California and federal law protecting the privacy of medical records,” stated a letter sent by the ACLU to the county Department of Health Services on Thursday.

The letter could be a precursor to a lawsuit that could expose the county to civil liability.

Officials at the county public health department declined to comment on the ACLU letter. But when the department sought records from AIM, department officials cited state statutes regarding the prevention of communicable diseases that give health directors broad powers when there is an outbreak of such a disease.

Peter Eliasberg, the ACLU’s managing attorney, said the law does not allow the county to take medical records without a subpoena, and that officials took the records of more than 50 performers even though the vast majority had not been identified as HIV-positive.

“What the county did was completely out of line,” said Eliasberg, adding that such action could scare people away from HIV testing. “We think it’s illegal, and we think it’s bad policy.”
 

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