Porn actors say they're willing to work despite HIV scare

— Adult movie actors said they would keep working in the multibillion-dollar industry despite an HIV scare, as more producers joined a voluntary moratorium that has shut down many sets.

About a dozen porn production companies halted shooting until at least June 8 after two performers tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS. Hustler Video and VCA Pictures said Friday they were halting work indefinitely.

"The main concern of both companies right now is for the health and well-being of the talent they work with," VCA publicist Mischa Allen said. A day earlier, Vivid Entertainment Group, the industry's largest studio, reversed a previous decision to continue shooting.

The names of about 65 performers who had sex with the two HIV-infected actors or slept with their movie sex partners were posted on industry quarantine sites that prevent them from working for two months until their next HIV tests are completed, said Sharon Mitchell, executive director of the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation.

Meanwhile, about 80 actors and actresses flocked to the health foundation headquarters Friday to get blood tests, up from 60 on a normal day, Mitchell said.

A 30-year-old performer who identified himself as Michael came in even though he had not worked with any of the people who potentially were exposed to HIV.

Like other actors in the porn industry, Michael said he was not overly concerned about contracting sexually transmitted diseases because "everyone's tested, everyone's clean."

The scare began last week when it was announced that a performer had tested positive for HIV, which he apparently contracted while shooting a film last month in Brazil.

A 22-year-old Canadian actress he worked with after returning to the United States, also has tested positive for HIV. The woman has worked in the adult film industry for only three months.

Many of those associated with the adult film industry said unprotected sex was common in shoots despite the HIV scare.

The last industry HIV scare was in 1999, when a male actor tested positive for the disease. He no longer performs, and no other actors were infected.

Pornography, a $4 billion to $13 billion annual industry based largely in the San Fernando Valley, differs from the heavily regulated sex industry in nearby Nevada, where prostitutes are required to have regular HIV testing.

The porn industry polices itself, and most major production companies refuse to hire actors unless they can produce a clean blood test taken within the past month.


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