Hollywood porn grinds to a halt after scare

An HIV test has put a stop to porn production in Hollywood. Photo / Thinkstock
An HIV test has put a stop to porn production in Hollywood. Photo / Thinkstock

Hollywood's "other" movie industry has ordered its cameras to stop rolling after an adult film star tested positive for HIV, prompting renewed soul-searching about its safety standards.

An unnamed performer was found to have contracted the virus, during a routine examination on Saturday.

Studios were notified on Monday morning and agreed to an immediate shutdown of production until further medical tests were completed.

"Until we know for sure, we've asked the industry to have a moratorium," said Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a trade group representing the porn industry.

"Re-testing and confirmation is under way, as is the process of identifying and testing first- and second-generation partners [of the infected star]."

News of the case comes amid growing criticism of the adult industry's efforts to protect employees from sexually transmitted diseases.

Under a voluntary code, producers are at present required to ask performers for proof that they tested negative for STDs in the past 30 days.

That has not stopped occasional outbreaks of HIV among the 3,000-odd porn stars in LA, however. Last year, a young actor called Derrick Burts became infected. He is now among former performers fronting a growing campaign for condom use to become mandatory on porn film sets.

Since then, a campaign has been gathering steam to make the use of condoms in porn mandatory. Organisers are trying to gather the 41,000 signatures they will need on a petition to trigger a referendum on the subject in California.

- Independent

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