New York Times Profiles Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation Founder Sharon Mitchell
The New York Times on Monday profiled Sharon Mitchell, former pornographic film actress and founder of the California-based Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, which each month tests approximately 1,200 adult film performers for sexually transmitted diseases. Mitchell has become the "most prominent figure" in the recent HIV outbreak in the adult film industry, according to the Times (Madigan, New York Times, 5/10). Five adult film actors in the last month have tested HIV-positive, and four of the cases have been linked. Following the detection of the first two cases, 53 workers who may have had unprotected sex with one of the actors or one of their sex partners agreed to a voluntary work quarantine. About 12 companies agreed to a 60-day production moratorium until HIV testing of the actors is completed, according to industry experts. In an unrelated case, a transsexual actor who goes by the stage name Jennifer last week tested HIV-positive (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/6). Mitchell said that all of the actors who may have been exposed to the virus will be tested at least three times over two months, according to the Times. Although some adult film actors "were casual, at best, about getting checked for HIV years ago, the situation seems markedly improved under the monthly checkups instituted by Dr. Mitchell," the Times reports (New York Times, 5/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.