Daily Archives: June 14th, 2009

More HIV cases in the LA porn industry

From the Los Angeles Times:

Despite porn industry assurances that an adult film actress’ recent positive HIV test is the first since a 2004 outbreak shut down production for a month, Los Angeles County health officials said Thursday that at least 16 additional unpublicized cases of HIV have been confirmed in adult film performers.

The newly released data bring the number of HIV cases in porn performers in the last five years to 22, including the case disclosed this week.

The report — and what state and county health officials perceive as stonewalling by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which tests porn performers for sexually transmitted diseases — is bringing renewed scrutiny to the estimated $12-billion-a-year industry’s long history of resisting regulation and condom use.

Since 2004, 2,378 people who identified themselves as adult film industry performers have tested positive for chlamydia in Los Angeles County. An additional 1,357 tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to data released Thursday by the county’s health department.

Public health experts tried again in 2007 and 2008 to require condom use in adult films, but no lawmaker agreed to sponsor legislation, said Paula Tavrow, an assistant professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health. But porn industry executives and officials, including its advocacy group the Free Speech Coalition, argue that they do a good job of self-regulation and say that the rates of HIV infection remain low. If laws are passed requiring condom use, they said, porn production would be pushed underground or outside California.

John Stagliano, a former porn star and president of Evil Angel productions, said: “The market determines whether or not this will be shown. A government agency the size of Los Angeles couldn’t stop it. It’s not going to change.”