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Porn Actors Face More STI Tests

The multiple cases of HIV drew criticism from health care groups saying the industry was not doing enough to protect its actors.

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    Adult film actors will have to undergo more frequest testing for sexually transmitted infections when production resumes this week, an industry trade group announced Tuesday.

    Porn production was halted Sept. 7 after three performers tested positive for HIV. Filming can resume on Friday, two weeks after the third case was reported, the Free Speech Coalition said in a statement issued Monday.

    Before the moratorium, adult film actors were required to be tested monthly for sexually transmitted infections. Now, they’ll have to get tested every 14 days.

    “While the increased testing will further ensure safer sets, it is important that we remain vigilant,” said Diane Duke, CEO of the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition.

    “Going forward, we need to constantly look to both performers, producers and health care professionals to find ways to improve our protocols.”

    The test used industry-wide can detect the presence of HIV within 10 days of infection. Industry officials say more frequent testing will catch acute – or recent – infections.

    An actress who works under the name Cameron Bay, her off-screen boyfriend Rod Daily, and a third unidentified performer have tested positive for HIV.

    Bay’s diagnosis prompted a separate moratorium on porn production. It was lifted after all performers who worked with Bay were medically cleared.

    A week later, 32-year-old Daily announced his results on Twitter.

    No additional incidents of HIV have surfaced in the weeks since production was stopped, the Free Speech Coalition said, adding that the virus did not originate and was not transmitted on set.

    Still, the multiple cases of HIV drew criticism from health care groups saying the industry was not doing enough to protect their actors.

    "If you have unprotected sex, essentially you're going to get something, whether it's HIV or chlamydia or gonorrhea, simply by the law of odds," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told NBC4 last week.

    Weinstein said performing in adult films is as risky as a game of “Russian roulette.”

    His group bankrolled an initiative to expand a Los Angeles city mandate that all adult-film actors wear condoms on set during on-screen vaginal or anal intercourse to include all porn sets in LA county. Voters last year approved the mandate.

    The requirement was challenged by the adult film industry, but was upheld last month by a federal judge who ruled the health risks of not using condoms trumped porn producers' argument that it violated First Amendment rights.

    In June, a male adult film star was jailed after he was convicted of knowingly exposing two female co-stars to syphilis.

    In February, Assemblymember Isadore Hall introduced legislation that would have required condom-use in all adult films made in California.  The bill failed to pass both houses before this year's legislative session came to a close.

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