Str8 Star with AIDS – Partners Named

Posted April 15, 2004 2:39 PM by with 0 comments

As reported in AVN (Adult Video News), straight porn star Darren James has been confirmed as being HIV positive. Click [CONTINUE] to read the whole story.

Why is this news?

Yes, people sero-convert every day and it’s sad that anyone should catch the disease. Darren James assumes that he contracted the disease from unprotected sex with a woman in Rio March 10, and has worked with up to twelve porn actresses since that date. What bothers me is that AVN has published the names of all the women he has worked with and all the men that have had sex with them! They have all been placed on a quarantine list. AIM’s Sharon Mitchel is suggesting a moratorium on porn production until all parties have been tested.

Straight porn companies seldom use condoms and prefer to have all performers tested before a shoot. AIM claimed that their procedures have significantly reduced transmission of STD in the straight porn industry.

Should gay porn producers adopt the same rules? Would you want your name published for having sex with an infected partner? Would gay porn producers voluntarily abide by quarantines, or production moratoriums?

THIS IS WHY I URGE YOU TO ATTEND THIS CONFERENCE: “Worker and public health issues related to the adult film industry

UPDATE 4/22/04 – Health officials Wednesday obtained a list of the legal names of 53 adult-movie actors who were known to have had sexual contact with two actors infected with HIV or with someone else who had sex with the two. Details below.The Day After: Adult Industry Scrambles to Prevent Epidemic
By: Scott Ross
04-15-2004

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday, the day after veteran performer Darren James was confirmed as HIV-positive, the adult industry was attempting to ascertain how far the virus may have spread, knowing that certain knowledge that it the virus hasn’t spread won’t come until June.

No other HIV-positive results have turned up as of yet.

The number of women known to have worked with Darren James during the time he is suspected to have been working while HIV-positive stayed at twelve, where it is expected stay. The twelve women are known as the “first-generation,” signifying their status as having had sex with James, the person who unknowingly brought the virus into the industry.

Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) foundation is currently concentrating on identifying the second-generation, people that have worked with members of the first-generation on or after the date that James had worked with them. The list continues to grow.

Brock, Dominico, Mark, Sledge Hammer, Brian Pumper, Steven St. Croix, Alex Saunders, Tony Sexton, Brian Surewood, and L.T. Turner were added to the second-generation list yesterday.

Tony Tedeschi, Jim Beem, and Jay Ashley have also been reported as belonging to the second-generation by the production company that shot the scene, but have not been added to the quarantine list by AIM yet.

Talent placed on the second-generation list on Tuesday were: Carlos Mendes, Mark Anthony, T.T. Boy, Sean Michaels, Julian St. Jox, Mark Davis, Jason Zupalo, Duane Commings, Judy Starr and Marco T.

The odds of the second-generation having caught HIV by working with one of the members of the first-generation are less than one percent, but they are under quarantine in an effort to ensure the virus is contained.

A clerical error by a production company led to male performers Trevor and Brad Baldwin were erroneously listed as a members of the second-generation. Trevor and Baldwin performed on the same set the same day that one of the women in the first-generation did, but with another partner.

The women in the first-generation, those that worked with James during the time that he is believed to have had the virus, are under a voluntary quarantine. The women are: Jocelyn, Lauren Roxx, Annie Cruz, Banesca, Persia, Miss Arroyo, Kayla Marie, Jessica Dee, Skyler Banks, Patrice Petite, Candy Ray, and Desiree Clark.

First-generation performers are quarantined for 60 days, the amount of time it could take for HIV to appear in measurable quantities, before taking another PCR-DNA and a RNA HIV test. If those tests come back negative, the first-generation performers will be declared “clear,” and they will be able to return to performing.

The second-generation will be clear once the member of the first-generation that they performed with is clear.

Production Moratorium Suggested

There is still the possibility that members of the first-generation were infected, and that while it is unlikely that a woman would pass the virus to a man it is still possible. And that means that the virus could be still spreading within the industry, because third- and fourth-generation performers are not being quarantined; AIM simply lacks the resources to track that many performers that quickly.  

For the reasons mentioned above AVN recommended a production moratorium until June 8; if no new HIV-positive cases have shown up by that date then the entire industry will be in the clear to safely return to their normal production schedule.

As we published this article Jill Kelly Productions was the only production company to have agreed to have a moratorium on production until June.

Jill Kelly, president of JKP, stated that she knew that some people were continuing to shoot despite the risks, and suggested that those that did so were “idiots with no regard to their talent or crew.”

A handful of companies have announced that they will halt production until the extent of the second generation is known. Cherry Boxxx Pictures, Kick Ass Pictures, The Red Light District, Sin City, and VCA are among the companies that have decided to hold production until more information is available.

“I’ve stopped production, I don’t intend to shoot for another couple of weeks until we see what’s going on,” Kick Ass Pictures owner Mark Kulkis told AVN.com.

What Happened?

Few details are known as of yet, but Darren James is believed to have contracted the virus during a trip to Brazil in March. AIM’s Dr. Sharon Mitchell estimates that James contracted the virus on March 10, while having unprotected anal sex with a Brazilian woman.

As noted previously, the chances of a man catching the HIV virus from a woman are very low, less than one percent. While in Rio de Janeiro, James was bitten by a spider that sources described as “extremely poisonous.” Mitchell admitted that the spider bite may have lowered James’ immune system, allowing the virus to spread easier, but stressed that it was simply conjecture at this point.

It is not known if James engaged in high-risk behaviors such as unprotected anal sex with men or sharing needles during drug use.

James is known to have been tested almost religiously every three weeks. His last two tests were on Feb. 25 and March 17 of 2004. Both tests were negative. On April James tested approximately every three weeks without fail. He tested on Feb. 25 and again on March 17, receiving negative results both times.

Mitchell has not had a chance to interview James regarding how he may have caught the virus.

(AVN Senior Associate Editor Jared Rutter contributed to this report)

UPDATE 4/22/04
HIV probe obtains names of porn actors
L.A. officials say 53 had sexual contact with infected pair

Nick Madigan, New York Times

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Los Angeles — Health officials Wednesday obtained a list of the legal names of 53 adult-movie actors who were known to have had sexual contact with two actors infected with HIV or with someone else who had sex with the two.

Investigators for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services obtained the list in a visit to a clinic in the San Fernando Valley that tests 1,200 adult-film performers a month for sexually transmitted diseases.

Health Department officials said the list of legal names, as opposed to stage names, would make it easier to track down both the actors and anyone outside the industry with whom they might have had sex.

Sharon Mitchell, the director of the clinic, which is run by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, said she had handed over the names only at the insistence of investigators.

“We’re not happy about this,” said Mitchell, a former adult-film actress who holds a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in human sexuality. “The legal names of our talent have always been held in the strictest confidentiality and privacy. We’ve been persuaded to cooperate.”

Mitchell acknowledged that there are potential benefits to the county’s involvement.

“The upside,” she said, “is that we will know once and for all the bugaboo of, ‘Did this reach the general population or not?’ ”

When adult-movie producers learned last week that two actors were infected, several adult-film production companies agreed to halt filming for 60 days so performers who worked with them could be tested again for exposure to HIV.

Since then, public health officials say they have been trying to find better ways to monitor and regulate the industry.

On Tuesday, the county’s public health director, Jonathan Fielding, wrote Mitchell a letter saying his department was “initiating an official investigation of this outbreak” to limit further spread of disease.

On the same day, Fielding wrote to Len Welch, acting chief of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration in San Francisco, requesting a state investigation into an adult-film company in Chatsworth, in the San Fernando Valley, where the two infected actors, Darren James and Lara Roxx, “performed high-risk sexual acts” and apparently became infected as a result.

Fielding said the most important task was finding people outside the adult-movie industry who might have contracted HIV from those inside it.

“We want to make sure they’re all covered, and counseled,” he said.

Cal OSHA spokeswoman Susan Gard said her agency could not investigate cases of potential exposure to HIV unless the workers in question were employed by a production company. Independent contractors and freelancers, which most actors are, would not come under the agency’s jurisdiction.

The agency could step in more easily, Gard said, if it can be shown that companies have violated state laws that cover injury and illness prevention or if precautions regarding blood-borne pathogens can be proved inadequate.

The California Department of Health Services might have to become involved, she said.

“It’s unclear at this point what each agency is going to be able to do,” Gard said. “We’re really at Square 1.”

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