Porn filming moratorium lifted after HIV case turned out to be a false positive


Activists in West Hollywood hold signs during a 2009 rally to support condom use in the adult film industry. The recent production moratorium, prompted by an HIV scare, has reignited the debate over condom use on set. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

The U.S. porn industry lifted its ban on filming, just a day after production halted when a performer tested positive for HIV.

As it turns out, that test result was a false positive, industry group Free Speech Coalition said in a statement. “Production on adult film can resume safely,” the group said Friday. “We understand that a moratorium is nerve-wracking for performers and difficult for producers. However, it’s essential that when it comes to performer safety, we err on the side of caution.”

The group called for an immediate and indefinite moratorium when initial test results showed that an adult film performer had tested positive for HIV. The moratorium was the third such porn-production shutdown over the past year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

While the Free Speech Coalition’s calls to halt filming aren’t legally binding, the industry typically abides by them, the Associated Press reported.

The episode reignited the debate over the use of condoms in porn production. Just three weeks ago, California’s state Senate killed a bill that would have required condoms on set. Proponents of such a requirement argue that condoms should be mandatory to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases; the trade group argues that such requirements push filming underground, making it less safe for performers.

Last summer, at least three porn film performers tested positive for HIV, sparking separate moratoriums and prompting the Free Speech Coalition to change its requirement of having performers take STD tests every 28 days to every 14 days.

Elahe Izadi is a general assignment national reporter for The Washington Post.

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