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Porn coalition lifts industry-wide moratorium on filming

The Free Speech Coalition says that all on-screen partners of an actress who had a positive HIV test have been tested and cleared.

August 28, 2013|By Abby Sewell

An adult-film trade group has lifted an industry-wide production moratorium that was prompted by an actress' positive HIV test.

Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based association for the industry, said Wednesday that all on-screen partners of the affected actress, who uses the screen name Cameron Bay, had been tested and cleared and that a panel of three doctors concluded that it was safe to resume filming.

The coalition called the moratorium last Wednesday after the actress received a preliminary positive test result, later confirmed by follow-up testing. Bay publicly identified herself and said she was cooperating with medical personnel to help notify her partners.

The industry is considering increasing the frequency of required HIV testing for performers from once every 28 days to once every 14 days. A medical advisory panel will consider the measure later this week.

Any performer who has tested clean since Aug. 19 — about three weeks after Bay last worked on camera — is "safe and available to work," the trade group said in a statement.

It was unclear how widely studios adhered to the weeklong moratorium or how much revenue they lost. Free Speech Coalition Chief Executive Diane Duke said many companies had canceled shoots — in one case after paying $900 to fly a performer out to film.

The coalition maintained that there was no evidence Bay had contracted the virus on set, but others said the case shows the need for condoms to be mandated in adult films.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton), who introduced legislation that would require condoms in adult films shot anywhere in California, issued a statement calling the industry's lifting of the moratorium "dangerous and irresponsible."

"The fact is, it can take up to three months for a person with HIV to test positive," he said. Duke said the three-month window was for older testing technology, and the Aptima HIV test now used detects HIV in seven to 10 days.

Los Angeles County voters last year passed a measure requiring adult film actors to wear condoms on set.

The county's public health department has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the recent HIV infection. Cal/OSHA, the state agency overseeing workplace safety, is weighing whether to begin an investigation as well.

Adult film producers Vivid Entertainment and Califa Productions, together with performers Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce, sued the county in January to prevent implementation of the condom requirement.

Earlier this month, a U.S. District judge found that the condom mandate did not violate the 1st Amendment right to free speech, but imposed restrictions on how the rule can be enforced. Among other things, his ruling barred inspections of adult-film sets without a search warrant.

Vivid appealed the ruling on the 1st Amendment issue. A county Department of Public Health spokesman said the agency is evaluating how to enforce the regulation in light of the ruling.

The most recent porn-industry moratorium related to a sexually transmitted disease was implemented in August 2012 as a result of a syphilis outbreak.

abby.sewell@latimes.com

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