POZlife

POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

The Risky Business of Bareback Porn

Posted by pozlife on March 25, 2008

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Article Date: 11/01/2007

By Dylan Vox

Barebacking has been a controversial subject in the adult industry for years, but this week the argument over condom use came to a sad and inevitable forefront yet again as three UK based porn actors reported they had contracted HIV. The actors claim they were infected during the shooting of a barebacking video with a fourth actor, who says he didn’t realize he was HIV-positive until days after shooting.

Protecting porn actors from HIV has become an increasing concern in the industry over the last decade. With studios taking more precautions to prevent infection, there have been very few reported outbreaks or instances involving the spread of HIV connected to porn in recent years.

But the UK outbreak changes things. The actor tested positive days after shooting  Then his three young co-stars tested positive with a new 48-hour test screening, indicating they had likely been infected on the shoot.

One of the actors explained to Boyz Magazine it was standard practice in the European industry to perform without the use of condoms. “On all the shoots, we do everything: kiss, rim, fuck. I’m passive, but he didn’t come inside methat never happens in porn, it’s all face and mouth. It must have been from his pre-cum inside me.”

The sad report comes just days after the controversial David Awards ceremony, which honors outstanding work in the adult industry.

The David Awards are the European equivalent to the U.S. based GayVn’s, which are handed out annually to companies and models in the adult industry.

While the American version doesn’t condone or recognize companies that involve models with unsafe practices including barebacking, the David awards do not distinguish between those who promote safe sex and those who don’t… something award winning director and porn legend Chi Chi Larue took issue with.

Larue was nominated and won awards in several categories at the recent awards ceremony. An outspoken champion for safe sex practices. Larue has been instrumental in creating condom PSA’s for each of his videos.

In an interview with JC Adams, Larue explained that he was unaware that the Awards honored bareback movies and, once he was informed, he told organizers that he would make a statement about barebacking if he were to go up on stage.

“The organizer’s said, ‘No’. Just like that,” he explains. “So I handed them back my Best U.S. Director Award. I said, ‘Take it. Thanks, but I don’t want it’.”

While the straight side of the industry has had mandatory HIV testing in place for the past few years, condom use has been the primary safety measure used in the gay side of the business.

“It’s extremely safe, probably a lot more so than most people have in everyday life,” adult film star Rob Romoni explained in an e-mail interview. “We go through a lot of condoms during a scene to help prevent breaking and to keep disease risks very low.”

Many of the straight companies have gay subsidiaries and apply their testing policies across the board. HIS is the popular line of gay films created by the Hustler conglomerate, and they require all of their models to get STD tests prior to filming.

“It’s like a double safety net, to insure the safety of the models,” a HIS spokesperson explained.

In 2004, the straight side of the adult industry stopped filming for several months after model Darren James was found to have contracted HIV while filming in Brazil. Fourteen actresses who had been in films with James were also quarantined, along with 35 of their partners, in order to control any spread of the virus.

Dr. Sharon Mitchell, who helped found the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, told Medical News Today it was very rare for STD’s like HIV to be spread in the industry given the rigorous testing procedures. AIM health care regularly tests more than 1,200 actors who are working in the adult industry, and prior to this outbreak, there had never been a reported problem, she said. 

On the gay side of the industry, most companies insist on condom use and will not work with actors who have appeared in movies involving bareback sex.

Performer Drew Case told Boyz Magazine that barebacking companies in the United States tend to work on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to HIV and STD’s.

“People assume that if you are performing in barebacking films that you are positive, and are unconcerned about reinfection.”

In Europe, most companies which produce barebacking films require their models to be tested. The production company involved with this current incident had tested all of their models. According to reports, the HIV positive actor had tested false negative during routine testing, which allows for a three month window in which HIV antibodies are undetectable.

Forty-eight hour tests are not considered as reliable, but could be helpful at closing the window before filming a project. Those tests are not currently mandatory, but now film companies may be more ready to use them in order to protect the safety of their models.

Porn is a multi-billon dollar industry that has been a target of constant scrutiny. While condom porns are literally littered with warnings of condom safe practices, consumers of bareback videos understand the risks the models are taking. While many in the industry object, there continues to be a market for bareback porn and the companies are still turning in large profits.

The production company behind the video in question, which declined to go by name in the Boyz Magazine article, is reporting they are moving ahead with plans to release the video.

“Unsuspecting viewers won’t be aware that they’re actually watching the young performers being infected with HIV,” a rep from the production company said in the article.

Because the young actors signed confidentiality agreements with the studio, consumers of the tape might never know what exactly they’re watching.

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