Reality Check: Porn, Condoms and the HIV Un-Outbreak
The adult industry is not comprised of a bunch of nymphos and drug addicts running from back-room porn set to brightly lit basement without a (health)care in the world. Performers are responsible for their own well being and you have a better chance
Porn's two most recent HIV positive incidents, and possibly this third case, likely were the result of extracurricular fraternization.
In 2004 former performer Darren James unknowingly spread HIV to three female performers. It is speculated that James contracted the disease while in Brazil, not while on a U.S. porn set.
In June 2009 a female performer had been working for several days before receiving a positive HIV test. Further investigation revealed she had contracted it from a partner who was not a member of the industry.
And though it's not public who the current Patient Zero is, it's been said that he (as many adult performers these days) also works as a gay male escort, putting him at greater risk for STI contraction. The odds that he was infected by an outside party are good.
Straight performer Tommy Gunn told adult industry writer Gram Ponante that the simple solution is to closely monitor the FOBs in the biz to make sure they're not bringing anything in from the outside world.
"Make a barrier to entry," Gunn told Ponante. "Make new people have to get tested once a month for three months before they get in. Quarantine the rest of California. I haven't had civilian sex in years."
Meanwhile outside organizations such as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have taken the initiative to attack the industry for what it considers inadequate testing requirements and lack of condom use. AHF President Michael Weinstein said in a statement that Los Angeles County must step in and "do its job" by regulating condom use before more performers are put at risk.
But whom we haven't heard from are the performers.
"I think that's the real debate," AVN's Javors said. "The performers are the ones who should be discussing this issue as it impacts their health directly. It's their bodies, health and futures on the line. And it would be a good move to support the performers in whatever decision they make."