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Porn star tests positive for HIV, two production companies suspend filming

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An anonymous porn star in San Fernando Valley, the center of adult film production in the United States, tested positive for HIV this week, triggering the expected cries for mandatory condom use on all porn sets as well as industry concerns about an outbreak. This is the first case of HIV in the area in over a year, and in response, two production companies, Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, have suspended all filming. From the Los Angeles Times:

"We did this as a precaution and will continue to monitor the situation," said Steven Hirsch, Vivid's founder and co-chairman. "We will wait for all of the facts to emerge before resume production."

Wicked Pictures officials, who described their productions as "condom-mandatory," said they halted filming to allow AIM to create a "comprehensive quarantine list."

The incident a year ago apparently did not affect anyone besides the actresses who tested positive in the first place (who apparently "worked rarely"), but in 2004 more than thirty studios closed for a month when it was revealed that porn actor Darren James had (unknowingly) infected three actresses.

Health officials say that while the regular testing required by the studios is a good step, it's not enough:

"This shows one more time why testing isn't prevention," said Deborah Gold, a Cal/OSHA senior safety engineer. "They are now going out and testing a whole bunch of other people to see if they can prevent more exposure, whereas the approach of Cal/OSHA is to prevent that exposure in the first place."

Hopefully no other performers will be affected, but it sounds like something more will need to be done in order to guarantee the safety of the actors and actresses in these films.