I shot one adult film this year. I was in two hardcore scenes, and it was shot three or four weeks ago. Yesterday news appeared about another performer in the adult industry testing positive for HIV through AIM. Exposure to sexually transmitted infections is a risk that adult performers take when they go to work.
Is this an unnerving situation? Yes. Am I going to get a new round of blood tests as soon as possible? Yes. Am I refraining from having sex or exchanging body fluids with people until I get the results back? Absolutely. Should this mean Cal-OSHA immediately comes into the adult industry and enforces mandatory dental dam use? Not necessarily.
As an industry, I believe we should strive to produce the best possible product for the consumer under the best (safest) possible working conditions for the performers and crew. Currently a clean (negative for gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV) test taken within the previous thirty days is required to work as talent on a porn set. Personally, I require the performers I work with to have been tested in the previous two days (I also test within two days before a scene since hypocrisy isn’t really my thing.) There are other girls who also require tests two days before a scene, although it does take a certain level of status to get producers to work with this requirement.
Two day testing means that (I think) I know the other performer was free of chlamydia and gonorrhea ten days before they tested and free of HIV three weeks before. [DISCLAIMER: I am not a scientist. I am also not a doctor. I do the best I can with CDC materials and the internet to understand things like STI incubation periods. If you are a scientist or doctor please feel free to correct or enlighten me.] This doesn’t make unprotected sex safe. This does make unprotected sex safer.
There is no such thing as safe sex. “Safe sex” would be complete abstinence, and a porn movie with abstinent performers would be pretty boring, not to mention highly inaccurate. A lot of the more experienced performers try to cut down on STI transmission, AIM tries, the big production companies like Digital Playground, Evil Angel, Vivid and others try, but at the end of the day we have people having unprotected sex for a camera and have to find a balance between safer working conditions and a profitable product that the consumer is happy with. I don’t have the answers to this, but I don’t particularly feel like Cal-OSHA does all on their own either. The various groups with a stake in this issue (the talent, production companies, and entities who regulate and advocate for workers’ welfare) need to work together on this, because the government and porn are both here to stay.