Pornography Industry Should Mandate Condom Use To Avoid Future HIV Outbreaks Among Actors, Opinion Piece Says
The pornographic film industry needs to address its "antipathy" toward condom use if it wants to prevent future HIV outbreaks among performers, Carol Queen, a San Francisco-based sex educator, writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece (Queen, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/16). 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. Some production companies stopped filming while the actors underwent HIV testing (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/13). There is significant "AIDS denial" present in the pornography industry that is "not so different from that of more mainstream Americans," Queen says. Many people in the industry believe that performers can avoid HIV infection by undergoing monthly HIV tests, she says. However, this "huge, aggregate 'monogamy'" is a "recipe for failure" because many performers have outside sex partners and only 1% of heterosexual pornographic film companies require condom use, Queen says. The pornography industry needs to recognize that "[n]either monogamy nor heterosexuality is a protection" against HIV, and the industry should adopt the "San Francisco Model" of HIV prevention, which recognizes that every sexual partner could be HIV-positive, Queen says. The heterosexual pornography industry should follow the gay pornography industry in mandating condom use to "stop being a poster child of heterosexual transmission and become part of the solution," she concludes (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.