L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

More porn productions shut down amid concern over HIV

October 14, 2010 |  8:02 am

More porn-movie producers announced they were temporarily shutting down production after an adult-film performer tested positive for HIV.

Officials at Hustler Video and Digital Playground, two large production companies, said they had halted production Wednesday. Hustler has put future shoots on hold, officials said.

"While we have suspended all future production plans in the short term, we will conclude our current shoot, which will wrap within the week," Rob Smith, Hustler's video director of operations, said in a statement. "We have no plans to begin additional production until we get a better overview of the current situation."

Samantha Lewis, chief executive of Digital Playground, said the Van Nuys-based company also had canceled shoots "for the foreseeable future."

Officials from Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, two other large Valley-based production companies, said they suspended production Tuesday.

Wicked Pictures officials said that although they require actors to use condoms they had postponed two productions as a precaution.

"How long they are postponed will be determined by the info that is released" from the Sherman Oaks-based Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, said Steve Orenstein, the company’s president. He noted that that the film company didn't "want to put any actor or actress in a position to work with someone that may prove to be on the quarantine list.

Meanwhile, the Sherman Oaks clinic on Wednesday blasted AIDS activists and public health officials for using the incident to renew calls for mandatory condom use and added oversight of the porn industry.

"The misfortune of a patient testing positive for HIV has been turned into a tragic farce by the efforts of groups to exploit the patient for their political and financial gain," AIM said in a statement.

The clinic noted in the statement that it was complying with all county, state and federal laws regarding both reporting the infection and protecting patient privacy.

"Under law, reporting to Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program can only occur upon the return of a Western Blot test. That test was taken immediately upon the first indication of a potential infection, but the results take one week to return," the statement said.

Last year, an Alameda County Superior Court judge issued an injunction barring a request by state workplace safety officials for the work history of a performer who had tested HIV positive at AIM.

"Through the press, the state is making the same unlawful demands again, while knowing that the state is under a binding injunction barring it from demanding access to those kinds of records," the statement said.

The statement did not include any new information about the individual who tested HIV positive, except to say, "It is impossible to know if the patient acquired the HIV virus from private conduct or on-camera activity."

AIM officials have so far refused to release the patient’s gender, the companies he or she worked for, when they received the positive test result or how many people have been quarantined as a result.

Karen Tynan, a lawyer for AIM, said the clinic cannot release such information by law because it might identify the individual.

"There’s a ton of curiosity," she said. "We just can’t breach patient confidentiality."

The AIM quarantine means production companies are "placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient," according to the statement, meaning individuals who had sex with the person who tested positive as well as their partners.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Comments 

Advertisement










Video