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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 19, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 08
New porn industry safety concerns: Actor gets HIV on set
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New porn industry safety concerns: Actor gets HIV on set

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Testing alone is not enough to prevent HIV infections among people working in the porn industry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a February 12 report.

The federal agency came to that conclusion after studying the case of a Gay porn actor who likely infected a co-worker despite having tested negative for HIV within the previous two weeks.

Identified only as Patient A, the 25-year-old actor presented symptoms of 'rash, fever, and sore throat suggestive of acute retroviral syndrome' when examined by doctors at his local health department.

He had been tested for HIV two weeks earlier and had been diagnosed as HIV-negative.

Between the time of his negative test result and the diagnosis of acute HIV infection, 'two different production companies directed patient A to have condomless sex with a total of 12 male performers,' the CDC found.

'Patient A also provided contact information for five male non-work-related sexual partners during the month before and after his symptom onset. Patient A had additional partners during this time period for which no locating information was provided,' the CDC continued.

Patient A transmitted HIV to at least one of his co-workers on the set and one of his sexual partners off the set, the CDC concluded.

According to its report, 'the performer, having tested negative by nucleic acid amplification test within the preceding 14 days, and unaware of his very recent HIV infection, infected another performer and a non-work-related partner.'

In 2012, Los Angeles County - then the center of U.S. porn production - passed Measure B, requiring the use of condoms in porn films as a safety measure to protect porn actors. Porn industry spokespeople said at the time that regular testing of their actors was sufficient to protect them from HIV infection, a statement the CDC now disputes.

'Persons at high risk for HIV infection should receive periodic HIV and STI testing,' the CDC said in its report on the case. 'However, as demonstrated here and previously among heterosexual adult film performers, testing alone is not sufficient to prevent occupational HIV transmission.'

'The high prevalence of STIs within this network of sexual partners, including performers, emphasizes the importance of consistent condom use,' the CDC concluded.

'In addition to complying with regulatory requirements under OSHA standards, the adult film industry should consider the implementation of combination HIV prevention strategies, including biomedical (HIV testing, treatment, and PrEP) and behavioral (consistent and correct use of condoms) interventions.'

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