Third Adult Film Actor on Quarantine List Tests HIV-Positive in California
A third adult film actor on Thursday tested HIV-positive amid an "HIV outbreak" in the pornographic film industry, according to Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Sharon Mitchell, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/30). 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. Following the release of the test results, about 12 companies agreed to a 60-day production moratorium until HIV testing of James' and Roxx' sex partners is completed (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/28). About 65 workers who may have had unprotected sex with James or his sex partners have agreed to a voluntary work quarantine (Madigan, New York Times, 4/30). 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, 4/28). Mitchell did not identify the woman who tested positive but confirmed a report from Adult Video News that her stage name is Jessica Dee and said that she was involved in the filming of a sex scene with James on March 23, according to the New York Times (New York Times, 4/30). However, no additional performers will be added to the quarantine list because all of Dee's sex partners are already on the list, Mitchell said, adding, "This is the beauty of containment."
Possible ACLU Lawsuit
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California on Thursday sent a letter to Los Angeles County health officials denouncing their seizure of the medical records of more than 50 actors on the AIM quarantine list (Liu/Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 4/30). County health officials last week had ordered the foundation to provide the legal names, contact information and four months of HIV tests results for the performers who may have been exposed to the virus. The records were obtained as part of an investigation launched by L.A. County Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding and were used to contact the actors and anyone outside of the industry with whom they may have had sex (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/23). Department officials said their request for the records was legal under state statutes on the prevention of communicable diseases, which give health directors "broad powers" during an outbreak of such diseases, according to the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, 4/30). Mitchell's attorney said that the health department could have sought a subpoena for all of AIM's medical records had she not complied in sending the requested records (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/30). However, the ACLU/SC and Being Alive Los Angeles said that the health department violated state confidentiality laws by obtaining the records without a subpoena. "The government needs to make a showing that the breach of confidentiality is warranted and the way to do that is by going through the court," ACLU/SC Managing Attorney Peter Eliasberg said. Such a breach in confidentiality could deter people from being tested for HIV in the future, Eliasberg added, according to the AP/Times (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/30). The letter could be a precursor to a lawsuit, which may expose the county to civil liability, according to the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, 4/30). Fielding said he had not seen the letter and could not comment on the allegations (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/30).