Three different porn actors have recently confirmed that they have contracted HIV. The current outbreak began last month with actress Cameron Bay, prompting the Free Speech Coalition--a porn industry trade association--to institute a week-long nationwide moratorium on all porn shoots to test all those who sexually interacted with Bay.
The Coalition lifted the moratorium after they discovered no new cases.
Last week, Rod Daily, Bay's boyfriend and fellow porn actor, tested positive for HIV as well. Last Friday, a third anonymous gay porn star reported another HIV infection.
I find it strange that an outbreak is only occurring now. Thankfully, the Los Angeles Times and certain blogs have finally decided to follow the story.
As a result of the third confession, a dozen female actresses have been quarantined.
There are even talks of an epidemic. All this activity vindicates the case of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is leading a drive to require condoms in all pornography production in the state of California. The bill is currently stuck in prodedural limbo in the California Senate. Wearing a condom is already required in Los Angeles County.
It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Regulation of the porn industry, already relatively lax because of its classification by some liberal groups as "free speech," will probably become more prevalent. Professional production is seemingly concentrated within Las Vegas, Los Angeles County, and parts of Florida, so the three states may move to implement health standards. If a bill passes in California, it will establish a precedent for the rest of the nation.
My concern is mostly for the actors; many people in this nation watch pornography, but do we ever consider the consequences on the industry professionals themselves? Yes, it's their job, and some of these people genuinely want to exhibit themselves professionally. However, do regular porn viewers ever consider these actors as people, as opposed to sex objects for their own pleasure?
These are workers who contract diseases and, as some recent veterans confess, become suicidal because of their work. The individual, just as much as the state, has a moral responsibility to consider the effects of the wide circulation of porn. This epidemic is just one part of a general—and tragic—moral desensitization.