N.Y. Times Reports on Porn Performer Safety, Measure B

Nov 5, 2012 5:45 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — NYTimes.com takes a look at the adult industry's performer-testing practices in a porn-positive piece titled "Unlikely Model in H.I.V. Prevention Efforts: Sex Film Industry."

The piece opens with writer Donald G. McNeil Jr. reporting from producer Shylar Cobi's movie set, a music mogul's Hollywood hilltop home. Porn stars James Deen and Stoya have stripped down to allow Cobi to inspect their mouths and not-so-privates.

"I’m not a doctor,” Cobi tells McNeil. “I’m only qualified to do this because I’ve been shooting porn since 1990 and I know what looks bad.”

What follows are testimonies given to McNeil by adult industry members and medical doctors in support of porn's healthcare protocols, and critical of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's mandatory condom ballot initiative Measure B.

"Very frequent testing makes it impossible for an actor to stay infected without being caught," notes Dr. Jacques Pepin, an AIDS transmission specialist. “And if you are having sex mostly with people who themselves are tested all the time, this must further reduce the risk.”

McNeil's story goes on to discuss the industry's history with sexually transmitted diseases, including this summer's syphilis outbreak, citing its quick response and willingness to shut down.

The piece also points out that despite the industry having shot more than 350,000 condom-less sex scenes since 2004, HIV has never been contracted on a porn set.

"I don’t think there’s any question that it works,” Canadian AIDS specialist Dr. Allan Ronald says. “I’m a little uncomfortable, because it’s giving the wrong message — that you can have multiple sex partners without condoms — but I can’t say it doesn’t work.”

Read the story in its entirety here.

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