Calif. Authorities Issue Alert After Possible HIV Gay Porn Shoot Infection

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — California’s Department of Public Health has issued an alert after finding evidence that a gay porn performer has become infected with HIV.

The state Department of Public Health states a male actor tested positive for HIV after engaging in sex with several other male performers during two separate film shoots.

He had tested negative before the shoot.

One performer from a second shoot has since tested newly positive for HIV, the report said. Lab results indicate the first performer who tested positive "probably transmitted" HIV to the second performer.

California's Department of Public Health said the apparent transmission occurred in Nevada.

“A male adult entertainment actor obtained a test for HIV that was negative,” the alert said. “Over the following two-week period, the actor had unprotected sex with several other male actors during two separate film shoots. During the second film shoot, he had symptoms of a viral infection.

“The actor went to a clinic and had another blood test that showed he had recently become infected with HIV. The local public health department initiated follow-up with the sexual contacts of this actor. Thus far, one of the male actors from the second film shoot has tested newly positive for HIV. Public health investigation and laboratory results provide very strong evidence that the actor transmitted HIV to the other actor as a result of unprotected sex during the film shoot.

“The actor thought that he was 'negative' for HIV at the time of the two film shoots, but in fact he was infected and probably transmitted HIV to another actor. Some adult entertainment film companies require actors to have a negative HIV test within two weeks prior to a film shoot. However, very early in an HIV infection the test can be negative even though the actor really does have HIV.

"In this case, the actor and production company thought he was HIV-negative during filming. Shortly after his negative test, HIV levels in his body rose rapidly to where he could infect other actors through unprotected sex. In addition, other sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted by unprotected sex.”

The alert stated that performers should continue to be tested for HIV, and that testing for other STDs should include urine, throat and rectum tests.

“Actors should get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and human papilloma virus (HPV); each of these diseases can be transmitted by unprotected sex,” the alert said.

In a first, state public health officials noted that the use of PrEP might help prevent the transmission of HIV on the porn set

“HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a daily oral medication that can help prevent HIV-negative individuals from acquiring the virus,” the alert said.

“In combination with condoms, PrEP can be an effective HIV prevention tool. PrEP, however, will not protect against other STDs and should NOT be used without the concurrent use of condoms. HIV-negative adult entertainment film actors should discuss the use of PrEP with their healthcare providers.”

Free Speech Coalition, the trade organization for the adult entertainment industry, did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment.

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