Another Porn Actor Tests Positive for HIV: Should the Porn Industry Have Condom Laws?

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The latest cases of HIV in the pornography industry are fueling AIDS activists to push for state laws demanding condom use among actors.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), told Reuters that a fourth porn performer, a male, contacted the organization with a positive HIV status. In response, the Free Speech Coalition, an adult-entertainment industry group, called a moratorium on filming. The name and gender of the latest HIV-positive individual have not been released, but the case follows three others in the past three weeks.

The moratorium is the second in the past month; the first, which ended on Aug. 27, was issued after porn actress Cameron Bay announced her positive status. Following Bay’s admission, an actor who has been romantically linked to her also came forward with a positive HIV test.

(MORE: Porn Industry Threatens to Sue Over L.A. County Law Requiring Condoms)

The cases come after a long battle between the multibillion-dollar porn industry and health advocates over laws that require porn stars to wear condoms during filming. Last year, a law was passed in Los Angeles County that required all porn stars filming in the county to wear condoms. Now AHF is also pushing for a bill that would require condom use in all pornography filmed in the state of California. Proponents of the Los Angeles law say a statewide law is required, since so far, film groups have simply moved out of the area to avoid the requirement, or that it is widely ignored and not enforced.

AHF has also filed a complaint with Florida’s department of health over a film that was shot in Florida by the adult-video company San Diego Boy Productions. AHF says California groups are getting around the law by filming in other states.

(MORE: Study: Porn May Not Be Such a Bad Influence on Sexual Behavior)

Although HIV-prevention groups argue that requiring condoms primarily protects porn-industry actors and actresses, some researchers say there’s a great public-health issue at stake too. “I think the portrayal of condom use could have a positive effect not only on the health of the porn actors and actresses, but on viewers, especially younger viewers who are beginning to develop their own sexual scripts,” says Jane Brown, the James L. Knight Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Brown’s research with adolescents showed a correlation between exposure to pornography and earlier sexual intercourse, anal intercourse and less progressive gender roles. That means that seeing condoms in pornography could potentially have an effect on how younger people view safe sex. By age 14, 66% of males and 39% of females reported having seen at least one form of sexually explicit media within the past year. Brown also found that 76% of males who reported committing at least some form of sexual harassment also reported using sexually explicit material, and 90% who reported having oral sex and 88% who reported having intercourse used sexually explicit media in the past year. A 2001 study that analyzed X-rated-film consumption among African-American girls also found that those who viewed X-rated movies were more likely not to have used contraception the last time they had sex and were more likely to have chlamydia, a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, compared with girls who had not watched the movies.

(MORE: Teen Sexting Linked to Real-World Risky Sexual Behavior)

“The media, unfortunately, continues to promote a sexual script [or] sequence of sexual behavior that neglects the three C’s of sexual health: commitment, contraceptives and consequences,” says Brown. “So, as young people develop a sense of how things should occur in a sexual relationship, they see a sexually unhealthy script in which couples barely know each other — in pornography, [characters] are often strangers — have sexual intercourse with no discussion or depiction of condoms or other forms of contraception, and yet, no one is shown suffering from sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancies.”

Ana Bridges, a professor in the department of psychological science at the University of Arkansas, has looked at how pornography affects relationships and says she believes that if condoms had a greater presence in pornography, condom use would become more acceptable and routine among viewers. “I fully support California’s efforts to promote safe sex practices in the production of pornography and believe it could have a positive ripple effect by promoting safe sex practices more broadly, much like marketing campaigns do, so long as the introduction and use of the condom are clearly visible in the pornographic scene,” she says.

Some porn stars who are against the new rules mandating condom use say forcing them to use condoms would be against their constitutional freedoms, and that kids should not view pornography as “real” or as a way to educate themselves. “People do not walk around with hard 10-inch penises all day,” well-known porn star James Deen told college students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, during a sex-education event hosted by Sex Out Loud. “I feel like it’s pretty obvious porn is not real. The adult-film industry should take a little more responsibility in saying this is a fantasy. This is something to arouse, not to educate.”

But for the more than half of all adolescent males who watch porn before age 14, that message may not be getting across. Yet even if pornography isn’t the best avenue for achieving sex education, given its reach, it might become an important partner in the goal to promote safe sex practices.

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16 comments
andyrwebman
andyrwebman

Another one of those articles citing the fallacy that people behave as they do because (a) they haven't been "educated" or (b) Their "role models" are behaving in the wrong way.

It never occurs to them that some people make choices based on personal preferences, and that the reason people don't use condoms is because they now how unpleasant and difficult to use they can be, and they don't want to watch condom based porn because they don't want to be reminded of that bad vibe. Show me anyone who's tried it with and without who doesn't admit that it's massively better without a condom, and I'll show you a liar or a statistical freak.

For years we've been given all the AIDS education, and been encouraged to wear the condoms, and it's worked to some extent, but their adoption is still a very reluctant thing for many  - if not most  - people.


I think we need a new tack on STD prevention - to develop the means of rapid and very cheap testing, and to aim to get 90% or more of the population tested for STDs. Do this at regular intervals.

Hell, if you could have a 99% reliable tester that you could carry in your pocket that worked within 10 minutes, wouldn't that do the trick?

Condoms have saved lives but taken a lot of fun away, and temptation is always there. Let's try a new tack

galaxykid2000
galaxykid2000

Aloe Vera cures HIV and Tumor's in the Liver!

fixento68
fixento68

Who cares, but it could be required safety equipment under CA workman's compensation law.  Let CA handle it, they have more people on welfare than working 

daridekas
daridekas

of course they should.health is the number one priority.

admin2: invetrics.com

SarahConfran
SarahConfran

i wouldn't consider porn actors "romantically linked". 

gopetca
gopetca

I really don't know understand the American obsession  with legislating morality and imposing one's values on others. Adult entertainers in the porn industry know the risk. They take reasonable precaution. There is always a weak link in the chain who violates trust. When one considers how much sexual activity goes on in the porn industry, if you look at the number of entertainers who contracted AIDS and compare it with society at large, one will find that the industry has a much lower rate. Its survival depends on vigorous self policing and excommunication of members who take short cuts for a buck. Thats true of any industry

rpearlston
rpearlston

Wouldn't it be more effective, overall, if a jurisdiction banned the sale and viewing of any porn movie that doesn't show condoms being used.  That can't help but get the attention of the porn industry.  Changing the laws to require the use of condoms and dental dams simply can't do enough in that regards.

verheek
verheek

I don't this legislate morality arguement that is going around other than it's an attempt to keep from being told how to live. This is human rebellion against what is right as defined by God and written in the Bible and encoded into the world and humans, his creation. The porn industry is satanic because it destroys health, relationships and reality. Anyone saying otherwise is decieved or deceiving. This crazy idea that it's all about condoms while totally ignoring the elephant in the room makes the whole article a farce not to mention continued denials by the entertainment industry that it doesn't distort peoples' sexual reality especially it a young age.

andyrwebman
andyrwebman

@rpearlstonVery difficult given that most of it comes over the web these days, and huge amounts of that through trailers and freebees not on any particular site.

And of course, much of it is made in Europe where these laws don;t apply.

clemrm
clemrm

@rpearlston You don't have any legal or moral authority to use government through force to make consenting adults entering into a legal binding contract on what they should do.

It's not your role or governments to tell them how to operate.