LOS ANGELES – Two adult film actors have tested positive for HIV, with one most likely infecting the other during unprotected sex at a film shoot in Nevada, California health officials said.
One of the actors had previously tested negative for the virus that causes AIDS before a pair of film shoots but then began showing symptoms during the second shoot and was later found to be HIV-positive, the California Department of Public Health said Monday in a statement.
“In this case, the actor and production company thought he was HIV-negative during filming,” the statement said. “Shortly after his negative test, HIV levels in his body rose rapidly to where he could infect other actors through unprotected sex.”
The other infected actor also participated in the shoots, and health officials said the virus was probably transmitted by the actor who previously tested negative.
California health officials would not give further details about the patients or cases, citing privacy restrictions. A message left with public health officials in Nevada was not immediately returned.
The infections came amid a major decline in porn filming in Los Angeles County, once the center of porn production in the country, where a 2012 law requires actors to use condoms. The number of porn filmmakers applying for filming permits in the county declined from 485 in 2012 to 40 in 2013.
The Free Speech Coalition, a trade group for the adult film industry that in the past has called for production moratoriums during HIV outbreaks, declined comment Monday and did not immediately reply to messages left Tuesday. No suspensions of production were reported.
Infections have happened before during porn productions and will happen again, said Michael Weinstein, president of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“The big lie the industry has been saying all these years, there are no on-set transmissions, has been proven to be untrue,” said Weinstein, whose group fought successfully for a Los Angeles County law involving condoms.
The industry has declared several production moratoriums in recent years, but most were for infections believed to have occurred in the private lives of actors rather than during film shoots.
The last confirmed on-set HIV infection was in 2004. After that, the porn industry adopted monthly testing for a range of sexually transmitted diseases. Last year, the industry increased testing to every 14 days after a woman contracted HIV.