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Tuesday
Sep062011

Porn Actor Retests HIV-Negative after Industry Shutdown

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- An adult film performer whose positive HIV test prompted the shutdown of Los Angeles' billion-dollar porn industry last week has been retested and does not have the virus, an industry trade group announced.

“This is good news for the primary patient, the industry will continue to be abundantly cautious as we try to nail down the reasons for what now appears to have been a false positive result on a previous test,” Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke said in a statement.

"After discussion with our medical expert, he has advised that it would be appropriate for production to resume," she added.

HIV tests detect antibodies to the virus in a person's blood.  But because they are developed to be especially sensitive, they can sometimes generate a false positive result, according to the World Health Organization.  Therefore, positive results must be confirmed by another test method.

The HIV scare came less than one month after the Free Speech Coalition launched a new online sexual health database aimed at preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among porn actors through mandatory testing.  To be listed in the database -- a requisite for getting work -- porn actors must get tested every 30 days and present a clean bill of health.  But critics say routine testing does not prevent STDs from creeping in.

"Testing is not a substitute for condom use, and it never will be," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.  "No test can detect HIV from the moment of infection.  There will always be a window period," which might not reflect recent infection.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing for mandatory condom use in the making of adult films -- a move that's been met with strong resistance from the industry itself.

"If the market would accept condom-positive movies, that's what we would all be making.  The fact is consumers don't want that," Christian Mann, general manger of Evil Angel Productions and unpaid Free Speech Coalition board member, told ABC News when the database launched.

"The market will always trump regulation," said Mann.  "If you make it so California-based productions cannot compete in the market, you'll just drive production out of the state."

But Weinstein insists that worker safety should not be optional.

"You can't dangle from a 30-story building from a rope; you have to wear a harness," he said.  "The idea that hurting these performers is a matter of freedom of expression is simply wrong."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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