ADULT FILM SCARE COULD ALTER RULES NEW ANTI-HIV MEASURES CONSIDERED.Byline: Beth Barrett and Gregory J. Wilcox Staff Writers
The HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. outbreak in the San Fernando San Fernando, city, Argentina
San Fernando (săn fərnăn`dō), city (1991 pop. 144,761), Buenos Aires prov., E Argentina. It is a district administrative center in the Greater Buenos Aires area. Valley-based adult film industry last week raised concerns about risky sex practices to an unprecedented level among performers, producers and health experts with some advocating the need for government regulation.
Dozens of production companies in the multibillion-dollar adult film industry shut down after actor Darren James tested positive for HIV on Monday. Actress Lara Roxx, 22 - one of the 14 women he worked with after March 17 when he tested negative - subsequently tested positive as well and about 55 people have been quarantined quar·an·tine
a. A period of time during which a vehicle, person, or material suspected of carrying a contagious disease is detained at a port of entry under enforced isolation to prevent disease from entering a country. because of potential exposure.
Sharon Mitchell, a founder and executive director of The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation is an organization which tests erotic actors for HIV and other STDs on a scheduled basis. In the 1980s, an outbreak of AIDS caused a number of deaths of erotic actors. in Sherman Oaks, said the industry's spectacular profits aided by the Internet and cable television's reach into mainstream America have led to increasingly risky sexual practices, without using condoms. The industry's annual revenues are estimated to be in the $9 billion to $13 billion range.
``It's the Wild West cowboy. It's the last frontier to escape regulation,'' Mitchell said. ``It's chic to be a porn star.''
Mitchell, herself a former adult film star who helped bring regular testing for HIV, AIDS and venereal diseases venereal disease (vənēr`ēəl): see sexually transmitted disease. into the industry after an outbreak six years ago, said safer sex practices are necessary but government regulation might drive the industry underground, where it would be harder to get voluntary compliance.
Dr. Peter Kerndt, director of the sexually transmitted disease sexually transmitted disease (STD) or venereal disease, term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, program for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) in Los Angeles County's department providing public and personal health services to the over 10 million residents in the County. , said regulations won't drive ``the big boys'' underground.
``You don't live in fear of what could be driven underground.''
Kerndt said officials take the outbreak seriously and see unsafe practices in the adult film industry as posing health dangers to the general population.
``We're concerned about this, because it has the potential, unchecked, to spread rapidly to their partners apart from their industry partners,'' he said.
Kerndt said a state-county task force has drafted a plan that would make condom use mandatory by forcing production companies to comply with a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) enforces the U.S. state of California's occupational and public safety laws and provides information and consultative assistance to employers, workers, and the public regarding workplace safety and health injury and illness prevention plan or face closure.
``We want to bring this industry into the mainstream by putting it under the regulations that currently exist for Cal-OSHA. This would be a model for the rest of the country.''
There are about 200 adult film producers - most of them in the Valley - and about 75 percent of them have stopped making films, including industry giant Vivid Entertainment LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.
LLC - Logical Link Control in Van Nuys.
No one knows how long the stoppage stoppage - /sto'p*j/ Extreme lossage that renders something (usually something vital) completely unusable. "The recent system stoppage was caused by a fried transformer." will last or what its financial impact will be.
``As of now we have stopped making movies, for at least a week, perhaps two, as AIM puts together the list of people who have been affected by the HIV scare,'' company co-chief executive officer Steven Hirsch said Friday.
``We feel that with condoms and mandatory testing people will be safe on our set.''
Performers, in order to work in the adult industry, have to be tested every three weeks - but often have multiple partners onstage in the weeks between. James, for example, filmed scenes with five women on March 8, AIM's records show.
There is wide agreement that condoms are the best answer to preventing HIV, but condoms also drive down profits because they limit the kind of sex practices that consumers will pay to see.
With fear running high in the industry, many performers were streaming into the AIM clinic on Ventura Boulevard Ventura Boulevard is one of the primary east-west thouroughfares in the San Fernando Valley; as it was originally a part of the El Camino Real (the trail between Spanish missions), Ventura Boulevard is the oldest route in the San Fernando Valley. It was also U.S. . The clinic has performed about 500 tests since James' positive reading Monday. AIM normally sees about 1,200 adult film workers a month.
Dino Bravo Adolfo Bresciano (August 6, 1948 - March 11, 1993) was an Italian-born Canadian professional wrestler, best known for his work as Dino Bravo, self-proclaimed as "Canada's Strongest Man" and later as the "World's Strongest Man. , 34, of Studio City said one of his shoots was canceled Thursday because it involved one of the quarantined women. But two others are set for next week.
``There's risk in everything,'' said Bravo. ``I put my clothes on in the morning, and could get hit by a truck. I got bills to pay.''
Ayako, 36, of Sherman Oaks said that after just three months in the industry, her main concern is safety.
Because her specialty is fetishes and other acts for private collections, she said she focuses on working with people she trusts. ``There's a lot more (work) these days. It's everywhere. People want something different.''
Mitchell spends much of her time counseling young men and women on the pitfalls of the industry and shows them safe sex videos warning that HIV is an occupational hazard occupational hazard n. a danger or risk inherent in certain employments or workplaces, such as deep-sea diving, cutting timber, high-rise steel construction, high-voltage electrical wiring, use of pesticides, painting bridges, and many factories. .
``This is an addiction about money, sex and fame,'' she said. ``People get into it for the money, and have a plan of action, like in five years they'll get out and run their own company or Web page or sell real estate.
``They think it's the back door to Hollywood ... they get stuck here on this side of the hill.''
Beth Barrett, (818) 713-3731
(1) Adult entertainment actor Tony Macho turns in paperwork to technician Scotty Phillips at the The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation as he waits to get an HIV test HIV test Various tests have been used to detect HIV and production of antibodies thereto; some HTs shown below are no longer actively used, but are listed for completeness and context. See HIV, Immunoblot. .
(2) Sharon Mitchell is a founder of The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation and is a former adult film star.
Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer