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Last Updated: Friday, 16 April, 2004, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
US porn film-makers face shutdown
By Lawrence Pollard
BBC arts correspondent

The American pornographic film industry is facing a possible two-month shutdown after two performers tested positive for HIV, the virus that can cause Aids.

The California-based industry is worth billions of dollars a year and is said to be more profitable than Hollywood.

It is now being urged to suspend filming so that dozens of performers who came into contact with the infected actors can be tested for HIV.

The proposed shutdown could cost the industry tens of millions of dollars.


Over a thousand porn actors are tested for HIV every three weeks by the Adult Industry Healthcare Foundation.

Earlier this week the screening process returned a postive test for a well-known actor, the first such result for a performer since 1999.

The dozens of other perfomers who had recently come into contact with him are now reported to have been quarantined and will not be working until they test negative for HIV.

Any ban would be voluntary but some in the industry say it is in the interests of both producers and performers to eliminate HIV infection in a business where condoms are rarely used.

Those affected must now wait two months to see how far infection has spread, but it is feared some production could still continue underground.

There is a wider debate at present over taste and decency in the American media which is becoming an issue in election year.

The porn industry will not want to draw more attention from politicians keen to advocate greater regulation of their activities.

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