L.A. County health officials say at least 16 performers have been infected in addition to one reported this week. That brings the number of HIV cases in porn performers to 22 in the last five years.
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.
The performer first tested positive June 4, said Dr. Colin Hamblin, AIM's medical director. She worked the following day -- June 5 -- for reasons Hamblin said are still being investigated. A second positive result came back June 6. And the clinic is awaiting results of a third and final confirmatory test, he said.
The actress had two recent sexual partners, according to AIM. One is a porn actor, now under work quarantine, who performed with the woman June 5. The other is her boyfriend. Those men have had sexual intercourse with an additional six people, who have all been notified and offered testing, Hamblin said.
"This industry screams for regulation," said Michael Weinstein, president of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Cal-OSHA needs to require that condoms be used in any film. Yesterday."
The positive HIV test has concerned health officials and AIDS activists because the Valley is one of the leading producers of pornography in the world, with about 200 production companies that employ about 1,200 people who work as adult performers, and about 5,000 others. With some of the nation's largest pornography producers based in the Valley, any disease has the potential to spread quickly.
LOS ANGELES, June 12 (Reuters) - There have been 16 unpublicized cases of HIV among porn actors since a 2004 outbreak made headlines, Los Angeles health officials said on Friday, a disclosure that was likely to raise new concerns about AIDS in the adult film industry.
The revelation came in response to a request for information by the Los Angeles Times, which reported that an unidentified actress had tested positive last week.
The adult film industry had said it was the first case since the 2004 outbreak, the Times reported.
In fact 22 performers have tested positive, including last week's case and five in 2004, according to the numbers released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Since the 2004 outbreak, in which a male star infected three actresses and another performer also tested positive, the $12-billion-a-year U.S. adult film industry has required regular testing by porn actors.
Most of that testing is conducted by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which issues work certificates to the performers who test negative.
The unnamed actress first tested positive for HIV on June 4 and worked the following day before taking second and third tests, according to the Times.
The second test was also positive and results of the third were pending, according to AIM Healthcare.
"AIM Healthcare has never been cooperative with us and our investigations," Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, told the paper, adding that the clinic had refused to name the actress or her employer.
In a statement on its website, AIM Healthcare said it was still awaiting "final confirmation" that the actress was positive for HIV.
The porn industry, which is largely centered in the San Fernando Valley suburbs of Los Angeles, includes about 200 production companies that employ about 1,200 actors, the Times said.
Since 2004, 1,357 porn performers have tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to county health data cited by the Times.
For more information please see our page on performer health and safety, which includes videos by former performers exposing how unhealthy and unsafe the porn industry is. Please click here.
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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexualitytakes an unflinching look at today’s porn industry: the stories woven into the images, the impact on our culture, the effects on us as men and women, the business machine that creates and markets porn, and the growing legitimacy of porn in mainstream media. Above all, PORNLAND examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and behaviors.
Although we are surrounded by pornographic images, many people are not aware of just how cruel and violent the industry is today. PORNLANDshows how today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy and Penthouse magazines — how competition in the industry and consumer desensitization have pushed porn toward hard core extremes. And, with the advent of the internet and other digital technologies, users don’t have to wander far to access porn; todaythe average age of first viewing is about 11 for boys, and studies reveal that young men, who consume more porn than ever before, have difficulty forming healthy relationships.
PORNLAND also looks at how our porn culture affects the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships. PORNLAND: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality argues that rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn offers us a plasticized, formulaic, generic version of sex that is boring, lacking in creativity and disconnected from emotion and intimacy.
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This outstanding website comprehensively addresses the harms of pornography in regards to all of the following categories: addiction, brain science, children, cybersex, family, Internet, Internet safety, marriage, men, psychological, prostitution, relationships, research, self image, sex trafficking, sexting, sexual violence, societal, STDs, teens, and women.
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At AntiPornography.orgwe are working to prevent and combat the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual slavery, as well as all other forms of sexual exploitation, through public education and advocacy. We are:
Pro-Education, Pro Safe, Healthy, Respectful, Equality-Based Sexuality
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(For family, children, men and addiction focused resources, please scroll down.)
ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS GROUPS AND WEBSITES:
Saavi Accountability -- The only online accountability program that works with all online addictions. It is also the only program that sends notifications instantly via text message to an accountability partner so that they can be supportive when an individual needs it the most at the point of weakness, while they are accessing the online content. The software was created by a young man (26) who overcame his addiction and is trying to help others.
ADDICTION MESSAGE BOARDS & DISCUSSION FORUMS FOR HELP & SUPPORT:
(Note: The No Porn Northampton FAQ is in the bottom half of their sidebar. In addition to the usual questions about pornography it addresses questions and concerns about activism against sexually oriented businesses such as "adult bookstores.")
"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking: It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves -- porne means females slaves, eros means love -- so pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica, and to disentangle violence from sexuality."
Gloria Steinem, 2006
For information about Gloria Steinem's important work of fighting against the harms of pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including videos and an audio interview, please see our page on Gloria Steinem. Click here.
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