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World media is reporting on the story that broke late yesterday revealing that a female porn performer has tested HIV positive (and had confirming tests).  The Free Speech Coalition (which acts as the trade association for the adult porn industry in the US) announced a nationwide moratorium on porn shoots. The Huffington Post produced a profile on the performer – Cameron Bay but the LA Times was quick to bring the story back to attempts to extend the LA condom porn law.

The reason for a moratorium is to confirm the test results (now done) and then attempt to trace the source of the infection and test recent partners of Bay (within and beyond the industry).  We’re seeing the safeguards in action.  Should the condom porn law have been extended to Bay, it would not have effected non-industry sexual encounters.  There is an assumption that the risk to performers is on set, not off it.  Yet, it’s the testing regime – as shown here – that reveals the industry acts to protect their performers.  What it, and lawmakers can not do is regulate the activities of those performers in their ‘private’ lives when individuals engage in bareback/condomless sex.

We don’t at this stage know how Bay contracted the infection and thus to turn this into some failure of the industry is particularly perverse.

Another aspect of the story is the way in which Bay’s identity was quickly revealed at the very time she was trying to process what was happening to her.  Xbix provided perhaps the best story covering this and included quotes from Bay:

“People need to be informed correctly about what the situation is. It is unconfirmed. I feel very violated in the fact that my name is out there and I just found out myself. I didn’t even have time to process what I heard. I didn’t really have a chance to figure out my circumstances and what my situation was. Luckily, I’m not some delicate little flower out there. It’s not right for someone to talk about something that has nothing to do with them.”

Bay continued, “No matter what the outcome is, my attitude won’t change. The fact is, no matter what the outcome is, everybody is going to know and I’m still going to live on doing me. It’s not necessarily going to be in the porn industry, but I’ll be raising awareness or something of that nature.”

The industry processes worked.  Given the apparent unimaginable array of risks presented to porn performers given their bareback/condomless porn performances (so porn condom law advocates would suggest), isn’t it remarkable that this is a story because these incidents are so rare?

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