Brazilian Adult Film Actors Criticize Lack of Condom Use in U.S. Porn Industry
Brazilian pornographic film actors are criticizing the U.S. porn industry's widespread refusal to use condoms while filming in light of the recent HIV-positive diagnosis of two U.S. actors, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (Clendenning, AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/27). Earlier this month, adult film actor Darren James tested HIV-positive, and Lara Roxx, who worked with James on at least one movie, also tested positive. About 12 companies have agreed to a 60-day production moratorium until HIV testing is completed, and at least 45 workers who may have had unprotected sex with James or his sex partners agreed to a voluntary work quarantine. About 1,200 adult film actors once a month undergo testing for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, and many production companies require performers to show their test results before filming (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/23). According to the AP/Chronicle, James may have contracted HIV while filming in Brazil. Brazil's porn industry -- which is thought to be the world's second-largest after the United States' -- does not require HIV testing, but most production companies honor a "gentleman's agreement" requiring actors to use condoms, according to the AP/Chronicle. "They can have the test and then go out for a wild night and get HIV, but the test would be negative," Norberto Brunni, director of marketing for the Buttman Brasil production company, said, adding, "We use the best condoms in the world, and that's the safety of my business." About 80% of Brazilian porn films are filmed with actors using condoms, according to the AP/Chronicle. However, about 80% of U.S. companies that are filming in Brazil require their actors to film without condoms or offer higher salaries to performers who agree to do so, the AP/Chronicle reports (AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/27).
A delegation of about 18 U.S. porn industry representatives on Monday met with about 80 California state lawmakers and legislative staffers as part of the industry's ninth annual lobbying day, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The day, which is organized by the Free Speech Coalition, focused on the threat of increased state regulation of the industry following the discovery of HIV among the actors, according to the Daily News. Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Kat Sunlove said that the industry plans to oppose attempts to require condom usage when filming (Sheppard, Los Angeles Daily News, 4/26). State and county health officials last week said they believe existing regulations give them the authority to require adult film actors to use condoms during filming. Only two of the approximately 200 adult film production companies in Southern California require their performers to use condoms, and about 17% of adult film actors regularly use condoms, according to industry executives (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/23). Sunlove said that the state instead should consider offering incentives to encourage condom use, including tax breaks for the cost of HIV testing (Los Angeles Daily News, 4/26).
NPR's "Day to Day" on Monday reported on the consideration of workplace regulations for the adult film industry. The segment includes comments from Patrick Collins, owner of Elegant Angel Productions; Dr. Peter Kerndt, director of the sexually transmitted disease program for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services; Sharon Mitchell, executive director of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation; and Sunlove (Cohen, "Day to Day," NPR, 4/26). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.