Porn Industry Shuts Down After a Performer Tested HIV Positive

An adult film performer has tested HIV positive, which caused a temporary shutdown of adult film productions across Los Angeles on Monday. The shutdown will last until further testing can confirm the results, an industry trade group said.

Derrick Burts, former adult perform who contracted HIV while working in the industry, joined AIDS Healthcare Foundation to launch a City of Los Angeles ballot initiative for condoms in porn effort tying adult film permits issued by the City to condom use in adult films. Photo: AIDS Healthcare Foundation/Flickr

Diane Duke, Free Speech Coalition executive director, told The Los Angeles Times on Monday that her group became aware of the HIV case Saturday. “Until we know for sure, we’ve asked the industry to have a moratorium on production,” said Diane Duke.

She said she notified adult film production companies across the San Fernando Valley that a performer had tested positive on Monday morning and also urged them to temporarily stop productions until further tests were completed.

Duke said company officials she spoke with — including those at well-known studios, such as Hustler and Evil Angel — agreed to the temporary shutdown. Duke said she could not release the performer’s name, age or gender. Further testing will likely be completed within a week, she added.

Her group will notify performers who had sex with the potentially infected person so they can get tested.

“Retesting and confirmation is underway as is the process of identifying and testing first- and second- generation partners,” she said, referring to those who had sex with the person who tested HIV positive or with one of that person’s sex partners.

Adult film performers must be tested every 30 days and show proof of a clean test before they perform, according to voluntary industry standards.

Duke noted in a statement that the performer tested positive at an out-of-state facility “that does not appear to have protocols or procedures in place for medical follow-up (including generational testing).”

Los Angeles County health officials and state health regulators, who have been involved with such testing in the past, were not notified of the test because it was performed out of state, Duke said.

The voluntary industry shutdown affects porn producers in the San Fernando Valley, the heart of the multi-billion dollar American porn industry, and includes Hustler and Evil Angel’s productions.

The porn industry was shut down similarly in late 2010, after porn actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed HIV positive.

Burts has since joined an effort by Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to get a measure placed on the city’s June 2012 ballot that would require adult film performers to use condoms in porn productions that seek Los Angeles city film permits.

The health advocacy group and state workplace safety officials say state law mandates porn performers to use condoms to protect themselves under the same set of rules that require nurses to wear gloves in hospitals when dealing with bodily fluids.

Burts has since joined an effort by Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to get a measure placed on the city’s June 2012 ballot that would require adult film performers to use condoms in porn productions that seek Los Angeles city film permits.

Backers of the ballot measure must submit a petition with at least 41,138 qualifying signatures by Dec. 23 to place the proposal on the June ballot. It would be the first time that voters were asked to weigh in on the issue.

“The question remains how many performers must become infected with HIV and other serous STDs before the industry will clean up its act and government will do the right thing?” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The group has unsuccessfully pushed California and Los Angeles County officials to tighten enforcement of condom use on porn sets through legislative attempts, lawsuits and regulatory complaints. [via Huff Post and Los Angeles Times]

Share this article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.