AIDS activists rallied outside the front door of Larry Flynt's company on Thursday in Los Angeles to persuade the porn mogul to require condoms in his films. Carrying large fake condoms, about 20 people called on Flynt's Hustler film label to adopt a 100%-condom-use policy. The demonstrators singled out Flynt because of his notoriety in the adult film industry and because he stated in a recent Los Angeles Times commentary that films with condoms "don't sell." "We think it's Larry Flynt's responsibility to set an example," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Five porn actors tested positive for HIV infection in April, four of them linked to a male performer who was reportedly infected during a porn shoot in Brazil. The outbreak virtually shut down the multibillion-dollar straight porn industry when actors were put on a voluntary quarantine preventing them from doing sex scenes until they had passed two monthly HIV tests. The outbreak led to an investigation by California's workplace safety agency and to calls for state oversight of the largely self-regulating industry. Production on gay adult films was unaffected because the vast majority of gay production companies require performers to use condoms for anal sex.
"We don't need any more patients," Weinstein said. "The recent outbreak in the adult film industry is an indication that the testing methods, which we think are very good, are not sufficient to protect the actors." A call left for Flynt Publications representatives was not immediately returned Thursday. (AP, with additional reporting by Advocate.com)