LA
12/13/2013 03:36 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Porn Industry Lifts Third Moratorium This Year On Adult Films

A national moratorium on adult film production was lifted Friday.

The Free Speech Coalition, the porn industry's trade group, placed the moratorium a week ago after a performer tested positive for HIV. The coalition, which oversees the testing of porn performers for sexually transmitted diseases, said Friday that it is safe to return to shooting because all first-generation partners of the HIV-positive performer, whom it has not identified, have since tested negative.

Since August, at least four porn performers have tested positive for HIV and the Free Speech Coalition has placed three temporary moratoriums on adult film production.

Porn performer Cindy Starfall said Friday that she thinks the moratorium was lifted too early and that, as a precaution, she will wait another week before returning to set.

"Lifting the moratorium in such a hurry makes me wonder if they really care about the performer's health or is it more about profit," Starfall said to The Huffington Post.

"Over time, I have saved money for times like this so I'm not in a rush to get back to work," she said. "Money is not everything when you are not in good health."

Porn performer Nina Hartley said she is comfortable going back to work. "The system worked as it was designed to: a performer became infected and, thanks to the every-two-week testing protocols, he was identified immediately and people were notified," Hartley said.

"HIV is in the world, and performers are human," she said.

A male porn performer, who wishes to remain anonymous, called the HIV incident "unfortunate and vexing" but said he is comfortable going back to work. "I still look at each shoot individually, and I respect any performer's choice to wait," he said.

In November 2012, Los Angeles voters passed a measure mandating condom use on adult film sets, despite a large, coordinated campaign against it by the porn industry. The law requires porn producers to pay for a permit to film and to submit to inspections by the LA County Public Health Department. However, industry insiders say there has been no enforcement so far, and the condom mandate is being challenged in court.

In October of this year, porn performers Starfall and Sovereign Syre said they would like to have the option of using condoms. But when Starfall was asked if directors and producers accept condoms, she answered, "Of course not, because they're always shooting bareback."

Starfall went on to point out that adult film producer Wicked Pictures has been successful with the use of condoms -- refuting the claim by some in the industry that condoms hurt sales.

Earlier this year, another porn producer, Vivid Entertainment, and two performers filed a lawsuit against LA County, arguing that the condom mandate infringed on producers' and performers' freedom of expression. In August, a U.S. district judge ruled that parts of the law -- relating, among other things, to how it is enforced -- are unconstitutional, but upheld the basic mandate requiring condoms. Vivid Entertainment and the performers appealed the part of the ruling that left the mandate in place.

In October, LA County declined to defend the mandate in court and declined to comment further because of the ongoing litigation.

The condom mandate was drafted by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which maintains that no amount of testing can make adult films safe without condom use.

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