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With a Porn Actress's HIV Diagnosis Come Questions About Mandatory Condom Usage and Health Care

By Mathew Rodriguez

August 27, 2013

A porn industry moratorium was called after porn actress Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV. Routine testing is a part of being a performer in the porn industry, and the actress's last negative test result was July 27 before testing positive in late August.

Spurred by the actress's positive test result, the debate about mandatory condom usage in pornography has resurfaced. Some critics are pointing to the incident as further evidence that condoms should be required on set. Abby Sewell, of the Los Angeles Times, writes:

The industry contends that mandating condoms on set, as the city and county of Los Angeles have done, harms business and is unnecessary because performers undergo regular testing.

Last week, a U.S. district judge ruled that the condom requirement was constitutional. Vivid Entertainment, an adult-film company that challenged the rule, said it would appeal.

While some are concerned about the repercussions for the industry, many are also worried about the future of Bay. There has been an outpouring of support and well-wishes for the actress, who recently tweeted, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the positive energy, well wishes and the love."

Aurora Snow, a recently retired porn actress, told the Los Angeles Times, "There's no health insurance, there's no union; there really isn't a safety net ... I feel really bad for her. It's got to be really tough to get that kind of news."

In an analysis of the situation through the lens of health care, Annie-Rose Strasser highlights some of the benefits of Obamacare. She writes about Bay's insurance prospects:

Bay will now have to worry about bouncing between insurers and finding the best, most affordable care.

But, thanks to Obamacare, she doesn't have to go entirely without coverage. Bay will qualify for the new health care marketplaces and, since the law stipulates that she cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, she'll also be able to get coverage from whoever her next employer may be. Plus, the health law provides a lot of new benefits for people with her condition. She will have no lifetime limits on her care, and, should she struggle to find work and fall on hard times, she could be one of the nearly half of HIV-positive people who get covered through the newly-expanded Medicaid program.

What are your thoughts about legislating "mandatory condom usage" in the porn industry? Do you think that HIV-positive porn actors should be allowed to continue working if they take the proper precautions -- such as using a condom and making sure their viral loads are undetectable?

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.


Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Excerpted from:
How the Latest HIV Scare in the Porn Industry Highlights the Benefits of Obamacare by ThinkProgress




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