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HIV Sneaks Into Porn Industry

After the adult film industry lifted a ban on production, an AIDS advocacy group is claiming that the fourth porn actor in a month has contracted HIV.

The claim was challenged by the porn trade group Free Speech Coalition because it originated from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has been at odds with the porn industry. The foundation successfully lobbied to require condoms to be used in pornography shot in Los Angeles County, the home of California’s other entertainment industry.

Only the first two actors, adult stars who are romantically linked off camera, have been identified.

Gay-for-pay porn star Rod Daily — real name, Joshua Rodgers — had announced that he was HIV-positive after his girlfriend, fellow porn actress Cameron Bay, tested positive for the virus. News of her contraction had led to the five-day moratorium last month on adult film production.

On Sept. 3, 32-year-old Daily tweeted: “I’m blessed for the fact that I caught it so early that I can blast that s— with meds.”

Not long ago that statement would have been unthinkable and an HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence. It’s worth noting that more than 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide since the first cases were reported in 1981, according to the AIDS.gov website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and approximately 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year. More people have access to treatment, but even outside the porn industry, far too many people contract HIV. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2011. The organization also states:

“As a result of recent advances in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-positive people now live longer and healthier lives. In addition, it has been confirmed that ART prevents onward transmission of HIV.

At the end of 2012, close to 10 million people were receiving ART in low- and middle-income countries. However, over 16 million other people who are eligible for ART under new 2013 guidelines do not have access to antiretroviral drugs.”

The adult film business has been criticized for perpetuating the notion that sex is better without a condom. Through unfortunate circumstances, the industry might also now bring attention to the reality that HIV has not gone away.

— Posted by Liesl Bradner

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