16 Previously Unpublicized Porn HIV Cases, L.A. County Health Says

Jun 11, 2009 9:30 PM PST
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County Public Health officials released information Thursday that indicates that there have been 16 previously unpublicized cases of confirmed HIV cases of industry performers since the last outbreak in 2004.

The data brings the number of known HIV cases in adult performers to 22 since 2004, including “Patient Zero,“ the actress who tested positive June 6.

Ten of those cases involved men who had sex with other men, according to health officials.

In all, 16 men and 5 women who worked as adult film industry performers contracted HIV between 2004 and 2008, the Health Department said. The county agency also said that between 1998 and 2003, there were 14 confirmed HIV cases among adult film performers.

It was not immediately clear whether the previously unpublicized HIV infections involved transmission of the virus on the set.

“Rumor is rampant when the words HIV and porn are in the same sentence; the media is like a moth to a flame,” AIM Healthcare cofounder Sharon Mitchell said. “We are finding that many clients, patients and companies are tempted to discuss this delicate matter with the world for whatever personal or professional gain.

"Fact is, that we are still awaiting final confirmation on the Patient Zero, who was given a positive result on Saturday, June 6.”

AIM administrator Brooke Hunter said Patient Zero is a "video performer."

AIM’s Dr. Colin Hamblin described the actress as having had two recent sexual partners, a fellow porn actor who worked with her on June 5 and her boyfriend, who is not in the porn industry. Those men have had sexual intercourse with an additional six people and all have been notified.

The performer's last negative test was April 29, according to AIM. She previously had been described as being in "a small number of films," which would explain the 36-day gap between tests.

There are two first-generation industry partners for Patient Zero.

One of her industry partners has tested "not detected" by a PCR/DNA test, most recently on June 8. He will retest on June 22, at the end of 14 days. His last negative test was May 13.

A second industry partner, in Las Vegas, tested "not detected" most recently on June 9. He worked with the infected woman on June 5. He will be retested on June 19, at the end of 14 days.

A second-generation exposure, the girlfriend of one of the industry partners, last tested negative on May 19 and will retest on June 19.

The last outbreak in 2004 involved an actor who had returned from working in Brazil spread the virus to three actresses who had performed with him. A transsexual performer unrelated to the other cases also tested positive.

XBIZ was unable reach AIM for comment after the clinic's business hours.

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