Porn Again

Mark Fiore Cartoon story image - Deficit
Mark Fiore
The nation's top adult moviemaker has resumed production nearly a month after several performers were infected with HIV, shutting down much of the multibillion-dollar porn industry.

Vivid Entertainment Group started filming again Saturday, said the company's production manager, Shailar.

"It's over. Business is looking up," said Tim Connelly, publisher of the industry online magazine AVN.

Dozens of companies have taken part in a voluntary moratorium pending HIV testing since actor Darren James apparently contracted the virus that causes AIDS in March while shooting a movie in Brazil.

About 50 people who performed with James or those he worked with were put on a voluntary quarantine list that effectively prevented them from doing sex scenes until they had passed two monthly HIV tests. Twenty have been cleared to work.

The outbreak led to an investigation by California's workplace safety agency and calls for state regulation of the largely self-regulating industry.

A 20-year-old porn actress who identified herself only as Brooke said the HIV scare prompted her to give up unprotected sex scenes.

"I know that a lot of people don't want to see condoms, but I would like to see tomorrow," she said.

While many in the industry support voluntary condom use, most oppose making it a law on grounds that it would drive the business underground.

Some of the larger production companies, such as Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, require condom use. The industry also relies on monthly HIV tests administered by the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation.

But Los Angeles County health officials said there should be mandatory use of condoms for adult films.

"The moratorium is ending without the introduction of the safest protection measures we have," health officer Jonathan Fielding said.

It's estimated that as many as 4,000 new videos and thousands of compilations are made each year in the porn industry. Estimates on the economic power of the industry vary from $4.4 billion to as much as $10 billion.

Vivid Entertainment makes more than 50 adult films each year and releases dozens of compilations.