“Last week, Los Angeles County officials revealed that there have been at least 16 previously unreported cases of HIV among porn performers in the past five years.”

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The title of this article at Salon is awful, but it does report the following:

Unfortunately, some sad news out of Porn Valley has made that particular feminist (and humanist) angle especially relevant: Last week, Los Angeles County officials revealed that there have been at least 16 previously unreported cases of HIV among porn performers in the past five years. That amounts to a total of 22 cases since 2004, when five porn stars tested positive. The explanation is simple: As anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of an X-rated film knows, condoms are entirely optional. Sure, there’s an industry standard requiring performers to get tested for STDs every 30 days, but it can take two weeks for signs of HIV infection to show. Just consider the 2004 outbreak: Porn star Darren James tested negative just a few days before going to work and transmitting it to three female costars.

The industry swears up and down that its voluntary monitoring is enough and that the number of infections is low considering the thousands of porn actors out there. (That is true when it comes to HIV, but it certainly isn’t when it comes to every other STD known to man.) Still, as Dr. Jonathan Fielding of the Los Angeles County Department of Health told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t know of any other industry where people are subjected to that kind of risk.” There have been efforts in recent years to require condom use by law but, whaddaya know, lawmakers are apprehensive about having their name attached to legislation that protects porn stars. Newsflash: People who have sex for a living aren’t considered a sympathetic or family-friendly demographic. There’s no doubt that many sick and twisted people in this country believe X-rated stars are getting exactly what they deserve.

The author’s assertion that lack of health and safety regulations in porn production is because “lawmakers are apprehensive about having their name attached to legislation that protects porn stars” seems ridiculous to me. She is trying to blame prudishness for a problem that is clearly caused, and easily solved, by pornographers. The porn industry generates billions in profits for corporations like Google and Fox News. Any effort to regulate porn leads to massive lobbying and “education” campaigns about how requiring condoms compromises free speech, will eviscerate the First Amendment and play into the hands of censorious foreign terrorists, putting our very democracy at stake, etc. That’s why porn is the least regulated industry in the nation.

And as far as the author’s assertion that: “There’s no doubt that many sick and twisted people in this country believe X-rated stars are getting exactly what they deserve” she is absolutely right, and the vast majority of them are men who consume porn.

–Ann Bartow

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6 Responses to “Last week, Los Angeles County officials revealed that there have been at least 16 previously unreported cases of HIV among porn performers in the past five years.”

  1. willcate says:

    re: “The porn industry generates billions in profits for corporations like Google and Fox News.”

    Could you perhaps elucidate on this statement? Google perhaps I can understand, because people do search the net for porn. But Fox News? You’re gonna need to connect the dots for me there.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which owns Fox News, also owns Direct TV, which generates a huge revenue stream by selling pornography. Previously Direct TV made a lot of porn money for GM. Just look at the corporate literature for either company to verify this if you are sincerely interested, and not simply trolling.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Google makes a lot of money from porn ads, btw.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Note: There is nothing in this post advocating censorship. Any criticism of porn is labeled censorship by not very bright people who do seem to think that criticizing pornography is not protected by the First Amendment.

    Rupert Murdoch makes billions from porn, so most Republicans are unlikely to advocate regulations he opposes. Republicans who are social conservatives are unlikely to care what happens to people who act in pornography, even if they don’t get Murdoch money.

    Meanwhile, companies like Google and people like Larry Flynt also get rich from porn and share the wealth with Supposedly Liberal Dood Democrats who are likely to oppose regulations that mandate condoms in porn, or anything else.

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    Comments that contain falsehoods or distortions will be deleted or will not make it out of moderation. Pornography is not “the most regulated industry” nor are pornographers inviting or even admitting OSHA inspectors onto their sets set. Just the opposite. Nor am I blaming Republicans exclusively for the lack of regulation, see my comment directly above. If you want to debate the legitimacy of pornography, find a “debate blog” – FLP is a mostly newsletter blog.

  6. Pingback: Quote of the day: HIV cases amoung porn performers « Anti-Porn Feminists

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