Outrage Over HIV+ Porn Actors

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Dec 9, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Outrage Over HIV+ Porn Actors

AFP/Getty Images

An HIV-positive porn actor has sparked conversation over depictions of people living with the disease.

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An HIV-positive porn actor has sparked conversation over depictions of people living with the disease.

The controversy stems from a new series by Treasure Island Media featuring a couple who have unprotected sex. One member is HIV-positive and the other is disease-free. It's highly unusual for porn actors to go without condoms, as the industry has been very careful about avoiding promotion of unsafe practices. In addition, the transmission of diseases could easily cripple the industry.

In October, when actor Derrick Burts tested positive, numerous studios closed operations for some time to evaluate next steps and test their performers.

It's common practice to serosort performers, placing positive and negative people in separate scenes. A new study found that serosorting does not result in an increase risk of HIV transmission, even when condoms are not used.

Treasure Island defended their practice, explaining that the couple is committed and that the virus can be managed.

Observers have recommended that the company educate its customers about safer sex. It's an opportunity to show people the best way to have sex with sero-discordant partners. Critics decried the absence of messaging about avoiding transmission.

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