HIV scare shuts down billion-dollar porn industry

For people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, prompt medical care can be life-saving - for themselves and their loved ones. But a shocking 40 percent of people infected with HIV don't find out they have a problem until they come down with full-blown AIDS. Just who should be tested? How often? Keep clicking to get the answers to those and other common questions about HIV testing... istockphoto

istockphoto

(CBS/AP) Southern California's multi-billion dollar porn industry has shut down following news that an adult film performer tested positive for HIV.

Diane Duke, executive director of the adult film trade association Free Speech Coalition, said tests were being conducted on the performer to confirm the diagnosis. She declined to give the performer's name, age or gender.

The case was found in an out-of-state clinic that doesn't report to California health officials, said Duke, who declined to say how her group learned of the case.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, the group will request tests among those who had sex with the performer and the sex partners of those who had sex with the performer.

The voluntary industry shutdown affects porn producers in the San Fernando Valley, the heart of the American porn industry.

The industry saw a similar shutdown in late 2010, after actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed with HIV.

Pictures: Derrick Burts: HIV-Positive Porn Actor Calls for Condom Use

Burts has since gone on to advocate for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's push for mandatory condom use in the porn industry.

The health advocacy group and state workplace safety, Cal/OSHA, said state law requires porn performers to use condoms under the same law that requires nurses to wear gloves in hospitals when dealing with bodily fluids.

Earlier this month, the foundation announced that it would gather 41,138 petition signatures to get on the June 2012 ballot a measure that requires porn producers to mandate condoms among their actors in order to get a filming permit.

Said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, "The question remains how many performers must become infected with HIV and other serous STDs before the industry will clean up its act and government will do the right thing?"

In the U.S., HIV is commonly transmitted through anal or vaginal sex. The virus can be found in blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. Though possible to transmit through oral sex, it is not as common. The safest way to protect against HIV is sexual abstinence, but latex condoms are also effective. However, the CDC warns they're more likely to break during anal sex which it deems a "risky behavior." The agency also recommends using condoms on shared sex toys to prevent HIV transmission.

The CDC has more on HIV transmission.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.