US porn shakeup after HIV scare

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October 15, 2010 – More US adult film companies suspended production Thursday after a porn actor tested HIV positive, in a growing scare gripping the multi-billion dollar porn movie industry.

At least two more movie makers said they had stopped filming, following two major producers on Wednesday who suspended shoots as doctors scrambled to check if anyone else has been infected.

Meanwhile the clinic at the center of the scare — which comes six years after up to 14 actors tested HIV positive forcing several film firms to close — said it would take up to two weeks to say who else might have been infected.

On Wednesday Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the home of lucrative adult movie industry, announced they were suspending production.

On Thursday they were joined by Hustler Video and Digital Playground, and more were expected to follow suit.

“We’ve halted all productions until we can do whatever we can to find out who this actor has been in contact with,” chief executive Samantha Lewis told AFP, adding: “There probably will more companies coming on board.”

Rob Smith of Hustler said in a statement that a film currently being shot would continue. But he added in a statement: “We have no plans to begin additional production until we get a better overview of the current situation.”

Lewis added that the infected actor was male and had not worked on any Digital Playground’s films — adding that she believed he was not infected on a movie set, where checks are made regularly.

“We’re hearing that it came from a completely non-industry related situation. We’re hoping that that does prove to be true and that we have no worries,” she said.

The HIV case, the first in more than a year in the industry, has fueled calls for film companies to force actors in their movies to use condoms.

The clinic which carried out the HIV positive test as part of its serving caring for porn industry workers, the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), meanwhile said it was working as quickly as possible.

“At this time, it is impossible to know if the patient acquired the HIV virus from private conduct or on-camera activity,” it said in a statement.

“The industry is behaving responsibly and cautiously, as it always has, by placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient.

“Upon completion of testing that cohort, in about 10 days or two weeks… the nature of the exposure will be determined.”

The clinic also lashed out at people it said were using the scare to promote political ends, and also insinuating that the clinic had failed in its duties.

“The current round of crudely defamatory and baseless criticism is unrelated to genuine concerns about the patient’s well-being or the health and welfare of the community,” it said.

Lewis insisted the porn movie industry was very safe, while acknowledging actors could not be forced to use condoms.

“A lot of the performers prefer not to use condoms because of the comfort. Whatever their reasons are, it’s hard to really force them to make that decision.”

And she voiced hope that the current scare would be resolved soon. “It does look like they’re doing their homework and they’re ruling him out from most the major companies.

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  • Fredrique O

    Hahaha, na vile niko addicted to the blu movis. I hope production wont stop coz i will be bored to death. local talent is still down, wsup with guys @ home here, do something…all that hype about 'roko tared' is nonsense!!

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