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Policy & Politics

Fourth Adult Film Actor Tests HIV-Positive But Unrelated to Other Three Cases; Bill to Require More Testing Set Aside

May 5, 2004

A fourth pornographic film actor in California has tested HIV-positive, although the case is unrelated to three other adult film actors who tested positive last month, Reuters reports. A transsexual actor who goes by the stage name Jennifer on Tuesday tested positive for HIV, according to Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation Executive Director Sharon Mitchell. Jennifer last performed a sex scene on Feb. 27 with two male performers who have since tested HIV-negative, Mitchell said, according to Reuters. Although the actors will be tested again to rule out the possibility of further transmission, it appears to be an "open and shut case of genealogy," Mitchell said, adding, "We think it's contained" (Keating, Reuters, 5/4). Adult film actors Darren James, Lara Roxx and Jessica Dee last month tested positive for HIV, and 53 workers who may have had unprotected sex with one of the actors or their sex partners subsequently 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. About 1,200 adult film actors undergo monthly 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, 5/3).

Testing Bill Shelved
A California state Assembly committee on Tuesday set aside for further examination a bill (AB 2798) that would have required pornographic film actors to be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases two weeks before filming and prohibited producers from hiring actors who test positive for HIV or other STDs (Reuters, 5/4). Lawmakers said that the measure appeared to have been "rushed without proper study or discussion," the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Sheppard, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4). The bill, proposed by Assembly member Tim Leslie (R), also would allow any performer who is infected with an STD as a result of participation in an adult film to sue for damages if a production company failed to comply with the terms of the legislation. The bill would bar from work an estimated 30% to 50% of gay adult film actors who are HIV-positive, despite an industry standard of requiring condom use (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/3). Assembly member Paul Koretz (D), who has been working on health care issues within the porn industry for a year, said, "I think trying to do this at the last minute with several sensitive admendments ... is not the right approach. I think this requires very careful study" (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4). The committee's decision to set aside the bill "effectively kills" the measure, according to Reuters (Reuters, 5/4).

Los Angeles Times Profiles James, Roxx
The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday profiled James and Roxx and their stories of "hard lives now made immeasurably harder by illness and infamy" (Piccalo/Hubler, Los Angeles Times, 5/5). The complete article is available online.

KCAL's "KCAL 9 News" on Tuesday reported on the HIV cases. The segment includes comments from Mitchell; AIM Board Chair Ira Levine; Dr. Peter Kerndt of the STD program at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services; adult film actor Justine Joli; and adult film director Rob Spallone (Rubenstein, "KCAL 9 News," KCAL, 5/4). The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.

KQED's "The California Report" on Tuesday reported on Leslie's bill. The segment includes comments from Leslie (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 5/4). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.

Back to other news for May 5, 2004


Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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