A third adult movie performer tested positive for HIV Thursday in the midst of HIV infections that have halted most productions at straight porn companies, according to the director of an AIDS testing service. "This is not over," said Sharon Mitchell, executive director of the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, which screens performers for sexually transmitted diseases. Czech actress Jessica Dee, who had been on a voluntary quarantine list of 53 people who had sex with performers Darren James and Lara Roxx, both of whom already tested positive for HIV, was confirmed to be HIV-positive this week. Dee had on-camera sex with James before it was learned he was infected with the virus. More than a dozen adult film companies have stopped shooting straight porn films for 60 days until the HIV scare passes and all quarantined actors and actresses can confirm that they haven't been infected. Dee had on-camera sex with five male actors after having sex with James, and those five were already on the quarantine list.
Los Angeles County health officials and the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health are investigating the infections and the possibility that porn shoots where unprotected sex is performed may violate worker safety laws. Last week Mitchell turned over the legal names of the performers on the quarantine list to health department investigators, who claimed the records were needed to better contact the performers and their sex partners outside the adult film industry.
But the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California claimed Thursday the health department violated the law by obtaining private medical information on potentially HIV-infected performers without a subpoena. The ACLU and the AIDS organization Being Alive Los Angeles sent a letter to the director of the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. "The government needs to make a showing that the breach of the confidentiality is warranted, and the way to do that is by going through the court," said Peter Eliasberg, the ACLU of Southern California's managing attorney. If people think the government can obtain their private records, it may deter them from getting HIV tests, he said. County health officer Jonathan Fielding said he had not seen the letter and could not comment on the allegations.
Darren was reportedly infected with HIV during a film shoot in Brazil where condoms weren't used and subsequently infected Roxx and Lee. Gay adult film officials tell Advocate.com that the HIV scare and the production shutdown do not affect gay porn films, where condoms are required by the vast majority of the production companies for anal sex scenes.
AIDS Project Los Angeles on Friday called on all producers and distributors of adult films to adopt the universal use of condoms in their industry. "Three lives have been forever altered in the past three weeks in a very public way," said APLA executive director Craig E. Thompson. "The adult film industry has tremendous influence on the private lives of millions of Americans. They now have an opportunity to help lead us all to a healthier future by immediately adopting universal condom use." (AP, with reporting by Advocate.com)