Positive HIV Tests Shut Down Porn

Rhett Pardon
CHATSWORTH, Calif. – Much of the $12 billion adult content business was put to a halt after a second actor tested positive for HIV.

News on Thursday that actress Laura Roxx tested positive rocked the industry and stirred up fear at adult industry clinics, agencies and movie sets.

Roxx and Darren James, who earlier this week tested positive, worked together in at least one movie, according to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a self-policing health agency partly funded by the adult industry.

The production halt remains for at least 60 days while testing continues, but could extend beyond June. Not all adult content companies are participating in the voluntary quarantine and are keeping the cameras rolling.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif., health foundation identified 45 actors and actresses who subsequently either worked with James or the women he had sex with. The organization screens about 1,200 adult movie performers a month for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. [Editor’s note: Names of actors listed by the foundation that could be at risk of HIV are listed below.]

James worked with 12 women after being exposed to the virus while making a movie in Brazil during early March. According to the foundation, he was tested about every three weeks and eventually a test came up positive.

At Canoga Park, Calif.-based Wicked Pictures, spokesman Daniel Metcalf told XBiz that its six contract actresses and two contract actors will won’t be filming until further notice, even though the studio has a condom-only policy.

“We have a lot of product in the pipeline – nearly 50 – through the fall, so from an economic standpoint, we’ll be OK,” said Metcalf, who noted Wicked also employs nearly 100 independent contractors. “But we’ve suspended production for as long as it takes.”

The shutdown will affect the income of the talent, as most don’t have benefits to cover loss of work. Actors can make anywhere from $100 to $5,000 for a day's work.

Jill Kelly, a former adult performer turned producer, said she was delaying about eight movies.

"It's going to hurt some people [financially] but who cares?" she said of the moratorium. "It's about safety now and about people's lives."

Adult star Mary Carey said she had not worked with the infected actor but as a precaution, she was canceling a lesbian porn shoot.

"It's very scary," Carey said. "This is kind of a wake-up call for everybody."

Jenna Jameson, who said she has pushed ClubJenna productions until after the 60-day window, spoke further about changing industry policies.

“I think that any performer coming into the United States from abroad, including American nationals who have worked outside the country, should have a quarantine period in which they must wait at least 60 days before beginning work again in the adult industry,” Jameson said.

The last industry HIV scare was in 1999, when a male actor tested positive for the disease. That actor no longer performs and no other actors were infected. Before that, a male actor infected five women in 1998.