HIV-Positive Porn Stars Pressure The Adult Film Industry To Start Using Condoms

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"HIV-Positive Porn Stars Pressure The Adult Film Industry To Start Using Condoms"

Rod Daily and Cameron Bay at Wednesday's press conference in Los Angeles

Rod Daily and Cameron Bay at Wednesday’s press conference in Los Angeles

CREDIT: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Two adult film actors who recently tested positive for HIV, leading the porn industry to suspend filming earlier this month, are now advocating for more widespread use of condoms in the business.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Cameron Bay and Rod Daily spoke publicly for the first time since news broke about their HIV status. They were joined by the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an advocacy organization that has lobbied California lawmakers to enact statewide legislation requiring the use of barrier methods on adult film sets.

“I’m not here to push anything down anybody’s throat, I’m not here to fight anybody’s fight,” Bay said. “I’m just here to share my story and to get knowledge out there to people and try to prevent anything like this happening to anyone else.”

Bay and Daily, who are romantically linked, said that the porn industry should do more to protect performers. Bay suspects that she may have contracted HIV while doing a shoot for the San Francisco-based company Kink.com. Even though the actor she was working with appeared to have a cut on his penis, they continued filming.

“Asking for a condom on set wasn’t really what you did because you could just be replaced,” Bay explained.

The trade group representing the porn industry, the Free Speech Coalition, says that none of the three actors who tested positive for HIV this month actually contracted the virus on set.

The coalition opposes mandatory “condoms in porn” measures, saying those laws violate porn producers’ right to artistic freedom of speech. In March, when Los Angeles passed a citywide law requiring condoms in adult films, a group of porn producers sued to block it. That case is still tied up in court.

The Free Speech Coalition points out that it already requires adult film actors to undergo regular STD testing, and that’s a better way to make sure they stay healthy. After this month’s HIV scare, the trade group announced it would require tests more frequently, once every 14 days rather than once every 28 days. But the performers who spoke at Wednesday’s conference pointed out that actors are typically responsible for paying for the cost of the STD tests themselves, so that will end up making performers pay more.

“Condoms in porn is not really that crazy a thing,” Daily asserted. He has typically performed in gay porn, where condom use is a more accepted practice. “Ultimately, it’s just a big industry, and their main concern is money. If they do care that much about the performers, they would use condoms.”

The porn industry briefly required condoms on set after an HIV scare in 2004, but the effort was short-lived. The industry claims that porn films with condoms in them don’t sell as well.

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