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Gay Porn Performer Appears to Have Transmitted HIV to Another Model During a Bareback Porn Shoot

Gay Porn Performer Appears to Have Transmitted HIV to Another Model During a Bareback Porn Shoot

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It has been reported by the Associated Press that a gay porn actor who initially tested negative to HIV prior to appearing in two unprotected sex film shoots was later found to be HIV-positive after he had symptoms of a viral infection during the second shoot. During the two film shoots, the performer had unprotected sex with several other male performers and appears to have inadvertently transmitted HIV to one of the male performers he worked with. The investigation has revealed strong evidence that the performer transmitted HIV to the other male performer during the film shoot. It is unclear at this point whether both performers contracted HIV on-set or whether this was a single on-set transmission.

This report was picked up by the Associated Press and other media outlets after the California Department of Public Health – Occupational Health Branch released an Occupational Health Alert, which I have copied below so you can read the entire document. This is very sad news and while HIV transmission on-set is not common due to testing procedures, cases like this demonstrates the serious side of performers working in the bareback porn industry. While the studio will not want to be identified and the two men involved need to be respected and given privacy during what must be a difficult time for them right now, I want them to know they are not alone and will hopefully receive support and resources to help them through this.

While numerous gay porn studios are based in or work in Nevada, here is a list of gay porn studios I am aware of that currently film bareback scenes in Nevada. There may be additional studios and I will update this article if I become aware of any other studios that should also be on this list. It is important to note that while I am listing these studios here, I am not saying that any of these studios are involved in this case and we should not speculate either. In addition to these studios based in Nevada, Jason Sparks Live has filmed more than one bareback scene in Las Vegas this year.

  • Corbin Fisher
  • FraternityX / Sketchy Sex
  • Stocky Dudes / MonsterCub
  • SX Video / Hot Barebacking

According to the Free Speech Coalition, the studio involved “did use a degree of HIV testing, it fell below the standard set by PASS protocols, including the use of an ELISA HIV tests, rather than the highly sensitive RNA tests required by the industry. The ELISA tests have large window periods that delay how early an infection can be detected, and have not been accepted within the adult industry for over a decade.” It appears that the window period is what resulted in the initial negative test result, which then led to everyone involved in the productions believing that the performers were all HIV-negative, when this appears to be unfortunately not the case.

There are different types of HIV tests and I have provided a summary of the different types of tests that are available below, along with the window period.

Test Type: Antibody
Tests For: HIV antibodies
Window Period: 3 months

Test Type: Antigen (p24)
Tests For: p24 viral proteins
Window Period: 11 days to 1 month

Test Type: Fourth generation
Tests For: HIV antibodies and p24 viral proteins
Window Period: 11 days to 1 month

Test Type: PCR / NAT
Tests For: Genetic material belonging to HIV
Window Period: 12 days

Test Type: Rapid
Tests For: HIV antibodies
Window Period: 3 months

As you can see from the different HIV tests above, the window period can be from 11 to 12 days, right up to 3 months (or 90 days). The window period is what makes HIV testing difficult, because if a person becomes newly infected with HIV and gets tested within the window period, they may receive a result showing they are HIV negative (like what appears to have happened in this case), then people have sex with other people under the assumption they are all HIV negative, when this may not actually be the case.

Some bareback porn studios now film bareback scenes with performers taking Truvada, which is a HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that is designed to prevent individuals from acquiring the virus when taking correctly. While safer sex studios might use condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV, some bareback studios are now using Truvada to prevent the spread of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking PrEP if you are considered to be HIV-negative and at substantial risk for HIV, which is why some bareback studios are taking this precaution.

This is the Occupational Health Alert dated December 2014 pertaining to this case that was released regarding this HIV transmission case:


Occupational HIV Transmission in the Adult Entertainment Film Industry

December 2014

Key Prevention Points
• Always use condoms
• Get tested frequently for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
• Consider HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

What happened?
A male adult entertainment actor obtained a test for HIV that was negative. Over the following two-week period, the actor had unprotected sex with several other male actors during two separate film shoots. During the second film shoot, he had symptoms of a viral infection. The actor went to a clinic and had another blood test that showed he had recently become infected with HIV. The local public health department initiated follow-up with the sexual contacts of this actor. Thus far, one of the male actors from the second film shoot has tested newly positive for HIV. Public health investigation and laboratory results provide very strong evidence that the actor transmitted HIV to the other actor as a result of unprotected sex during the film shoot.

Why is this important?
The actor thought that he was “negative” for HIV at the time of the two film shoots, but in fact he was infected and probably transmitted HIV to another actor. Some adult entertainment film companies require actors to have a negative HIV test within 2 weeks prior to a film shoot. However, very early in an HIV infection the test can be negative even though the actor really does have HIV. In this case, the actor and production company thought he was HIV-negative during filming. Shortly after his negative test, HIV levels in his body rose rapidly to where he could infect other actors through unprotected sex. In addition, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be transmitted by unprotected sex.

What should be done in light of this investigation?
• Correct and consistent use of condoms is known to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Adult entertainment film actors should use condoms, and film producers should require on-set condom use by actors. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has determined that employers are required to furnish and ensure the use of condoms in the production of adult films at no cost to the actors.

• Actors should continue to be tested for HIV. Testing for other STDs should include urine, throat, and rectum tests. Actors should get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and human papilloma virus (HPV); each of these diseases can be transmitted by unprotected sex.

• HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a daily oral medication that can help prevent HIV-negative individuals from acquiring the virus. In combination with condoms, PrEP can be an effective HIV prevention tool. PrEP, however, will not protect against other STDs and should NOT be used without the concurrent use of condoms. HIV-negative adult entertainment film actors should discuss the use of PrEP with their health care providers.

Actors should be aware that under state and federal occupational safety and health laws, film producers are required to provide safeguards to assure safe and healthy work environments for their employees. This includes protection from HIV and other blood borne diseases.

For more information see:

Cal/OSHA “Vital Information For Workers and Employers in the Adult Film Industry”
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/adultfilmindustry.html

Federal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard Fact Sheet
https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_BloodborneFacts/bbfact01.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Guidelines
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/prevention/research/prep/


While there will likely be speculation about the studio and possibly performers involved, the purpose of this article was purely to highlight some of the risks involved with barebacking and producing bareback porn. The guys who participate in bareback video productions need to be aware of the risks involved and hopefully the studios take every precaution available to protect their models and explain the risks involved to their performers. While I showcase bareback porn here, I have done my best to also highlight risks and provide resources about sexual health for anyone who is interested and I will continue to provide balanced entertainment and information here in the future.

Sources:

  1. 2 Male Porn Performers Test Positive for HIV – Associated Press
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/316f727ef9bf450fa99e67b1c6c1f3c8/alert-issued-after-likely-hiv-porn-set-infection
  2. Alert Issued After Likely HIV Porn Set Infection – ABC News
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/alert-issued-hiv-porn-set-infection-27889190
  3. Occupational HIV Transmission in the Adult Entertainment Film Industry – California Department of Public Health – Occupational Health Branch (PDF)
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/ohb/Documents/OccHIVinAFI.pdf
  4. Recent DPH Report Addresses Non-Compliant Out-Of-State Shoot In September – Free Speech Coalition
    http://freespeechcoalition.com/recent-dph-report-addresses-non-compliant-out-of-state-shoot-in-september/
  5. Types of HIV Tests – Avert
    http://www.avert.org/hiv-testing.htm

25 Comments

  1. mecocklover
    December 30, 2014 at 7:51 pm
    Reply

    OK, I’m a little confused….was this in California — who put out the alert — or Nevada? I’m not seeing anything in the alert that specifies a state.

    Also, SX is based in San Diego, California, not Nevada.

    • Brad Berrigan
      December 30, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Hey mecocklover, This is confusing, because the alert was released by the California Department of Public Health, but according to the Free Speech Coalition (and numerous other sources), the HIV transmission took place on a porn shoot in Nevada. I have linked to this source in my article, along with a few other sources to help strengthen the quality of the data sources I used to write this article. I would also like to mention that a bareback scene that appeared at SD Boy (based in San Diego) that was filmed in Florida was also investigated by the California Department of Public Health this year, so it appears they do investigate out of state issues (perhaps because the company involved is headquartered in California).

      SX Video was originally based in San Diego, but moved to Nevada during this year. I was notified of this information by a representative of Hot Barebacking on June 20, 2014 that “the studio (SX Video) is in the process of moving from California to Nevada” and my understanding is that this move has been completed, but I might be wrong. I’ll be happy to correct the article if this information is not correct.

      I have noticed comments at other blogs stating that Sketchy Sex is also based in Nevada, but from my understanding, both FraternityX and Sketchy Sex are filmed in Arizona. If I’m also wrong about this, I’ll be happy to update my post to keep this a live document. Thanks for your comment.

    • Json
      January 2, 2015 at 1:11 am

      On the 27:th of September a couple of models working for Sketchy Sex were filming scenes for the studio just outside of Las Vegas. On the 2:nd of October one of the models tweeted a pic with the hashtag strepthroat. On the 14:th of October another model that participated in the fore mentioned shoot tweeted “which on of you fuckers was dirty”.

      By no means any proof that these models are the ones named in the article above but it clearly shows that Sketchy Sex shoots in Nevada, all information is found on Twitter.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 2, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Hey Json, Thank you for your comment regarding this. I have written to the Sketchy Sex site representative based on an earlier question asking where the video production for Sketchy Sex takes place and while I haven’t received a reply yet (due to the New Year public holiday), I do not want to speculate about which studio is involved. I have taken a look at Twitter and found some of the tweets you are referring to, which do show a geographic location of “North Las Vegas, NV”, but I don’t want to allude to anything more than this, because I only comment on issues when there are facts to support them, especially with something as sensitive as this. While I appreciate you sharing this information, I will wait to receive a response from the studio about whether Sketchy Sex filming takes place in Nevada or Arizona (or somewhere else). Social media can be a great way to share information, but you have to be cautious about the accuracy of the information, which is why I have written directly to the site asking where the scenes for Sketchy Sex are filmed.

  2. mecocklover
    December 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm
    Reply

    Hrm…SX’s website still lists San Diego contact information, as does their “mail in” order form. Either the move isn’t complete or their information is out of date — though they did update their site just a few days ago.

    • Brad Berrigan
      December 30, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      You are exactly right mecocklover, their website still shows a contact address in San Diego (whether this is just for customer service and not video production, I’m not sure). When I was advised of the information about the move to Nevada, it was because I was asking why they weren’t releasing any new scenes. I was told it was because of the move to Nevada and that after the move had been finalized, new content would be released again. I am now seeing what appears to be newly filmed scenes, so I was under the impression that the move had been completed and things were returning to normal again. I am unable to contact the representative who confirmed this information for me, as he is currently on vacation until January, 5, 2015. I will see what else I can find out about this and update my article if necessary.

  3. Chris
    December 31, 2014 at 9:36 am
    Reply

    this might be an unpopular opinion, but i don’t see what the big deal is. Barebacking is in a golden age at the moment where more and more studios and porn stars are going bareback, and more of us are barebacking in our private lives too. Many porn stars admit to the same. Barebacking is becoming the norm amongst twinks, Daddies and everyone in between which i personally think is awesome. Here in the UK, you cannot get Truvada, yet we are still are embracing bareback sex. And honestly, do we all get tested after every bareback sex encounter? I know i don’t. A side effect of this increased barebacking is that HIV rates are going up, there is no escaping that, and we shouldn’t be surprised when it does. I hope the guys infected don’t regret going bareback, they can get treated easily and i highly doubt it will affect there sex lives or careers, as it seems a lot of HIV+ stars are being embraced now.

    • Brad Berrigan
      December 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Hey Chris, Thank you for your comment. All comments that contribute something to the discussion here are welcome and although your opinion may be different to that of others, you are always welcome to say what you think and I’m glad you have, because this is an important discussion and views from everyone are appreciated. I know that barebackers can contract HIV through their unprotected sexual encounters in their personal lives, but what makes this a big deal is that working in the bareback porn industry has previously been considered a safer barebacking environment compared to barebacking in your personal life due to the testing procedures and serosorting that are in place.

      When you have bareback sex in your personal life, you don’t always have access to having a potential partner tested for HIV and other STI’s just before you have bareback sex with them, so this transmission case has resulted in serious consequences for the two men involved and quite possibly the studio as well. If you are barebacking in a monogamous relationship, then the level of safety increases, but if you meet someone and want to have bareback sex with them right away, you don’t have the tools necessary to test, plus you have to ask them about their HIV status if you want to serosort.

      I am a barebacker and I am aware of the risks involved with barebacking and I try to include as much information about sexual health here in my health pages to provide others with resources regarding bareback sex. Some of the guys who film bareback scenes may not have bareback sex in their personal lives, but of course this will vary between performers, because many of them do. This is big news to me due to what was previously considered a safer environment to have bareback sex has now demonstrated that when it comes to HIV, the window period is still a major problem when testing for HIV. Research has found an excellent HIV prevention rate for those using Truvada as a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) when it’s taken correctly and consistently, so I think this will become a more popular safeguard HIV negative people will use to prevent seroconversion. Truvada isn’t yet available in Australia either, so there are many countries where this is not an option, but for those who have access to this drug, they might embrace it to feel more confident about barebacking.

      I agree that barebacking is becoming more commonplace and with access to Truvada for some, we will likely see guys who have wanted to experience bareback sex in the past but not risk barebacking begin to relax and start engaging in unprotected sex moving forward. The treatment options are also getting better and I hope that the guys involved in this case are receiving the support they will likely need now, because they were probably shocked by what happened, considering they were tested before barebacking and thought they were HIV-negative.

  4. yeti8080
    December 31, 2014 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    I’ve heard that sketchysex is based in Nevada. Can anyone confirm?

    • Brad Berrigan
      December 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Hey yeti8080, My understanding is that Sketchy Sex is based in Arizona. I have written to the Sketchy Sex site representative to ask where Sketchy Sex is based and while I usually receive a prompt response from him, due to this being New Years Eve and tomorrow being New Years Day, there may be a delay. I will provide an update as soon as I receive a reply and I’ll also send you an email to let you know.

  5. jordan
    January 1, 2015 at 12:51 am
    Reply

    things happen, this is surprising in what way? there is absolutely no need for any hysteria, everything is going to be alright!

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 1, 2015 at 3:05 am

      Hey Jordan, When I first heard about this incident, my instinct was to publish a post, also including information about different types of HIV tests to provide an article that I consider to be well balanced and relevant. I don’t think there is any hysteria with my post, I’m simply reporting on an issue which relates to bareback porn and I wanted to provide a place where this could be discussed by others who are also interested in bareback sex.

    • seaguy
      January 8, 2015 at 5:53 am

      This is the first known transmission to occur during the production of a porn in at least 10 yrs so that also makes it newsworthy. Though it should be said this studio was not following industry protocol. They used older testing methods which left a larger window of time where one could be poz but it would not show up on the test.

  6. prince of pinkness®
    January 1, 2015 at 5:37 am
    Reply

    If a gay man contracts HIV, it matters. Whether he was having safer sex, or unsafe sex; that’s the part which doesn’t matter. I’ll never agree with how little we MSM value ourselves AND each other. It’s fucking sad, and you can’t say, that’s reality because it’s just a perception of reality, a perception that says, “No one gives a shit if I have HIV, so why should I care if YOU have HIV?” and it just goes on. Well, I’m not contributing to that. I have a choice, we all have a choice, whether we’re poz or neg; we should know, we should care, and I believe it does matter.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 1, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks for your comment regarding this prince of pinkness®. I agree that we should care about others and what happens to them. It saddens me about what happened here, because it seems as though the studio tested the models beforehand and they were taking the steps to prevent something like this happening by serosorting using the test results. It seems from other reports I have read that the studio involved was not using a more advanced testing method that detects infections with a smaller window period, so if this is true, then it’s definitely an issue and studios filming bareback scenes should take a note of this, although there is still a window period involved even with more sophisticated testing methods. I have been surprised by some of the comments here about this, but I agree that we should also care about another person’s HIV status and show them respect. Thanks again for commenting on this post.

  7. Joseph
    January 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm
    Reply

    Hello-

    as always you have written an A++ post on the subject. it would be interesting
    if the studio involved was a major one or a amateur one. not to sound callous or
    uncaring about the models involved but *ANYONE* who makes the decision to do
    bareback porn should thoroughly research stuff before shooting a scene.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 2, 2015 at 2:27 am

      Hey Joseph, Thank you for your kind words about my post, I appreciate your feedback. It will be interesting to learn which studio this was and how they might respond if they’re identified. It’s a real shame that this has happened and I do agree that anyone who has bareback sex, whether it be in porn or in their personal lives needs to fully understand the risks involved with barebacking.

  8. jordan
    January 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm
    Reply

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say you were getting hysterical. I was just being a little bit of a smarty pants by down playing the whole issue. We all know it’s possible every time we bareback. We all know it’s not that big of deal for the great majority of people that get infected now. I am poz, happy and healthy and really don’t spend any time regretting my decision to bareback. Not only do I not regret it, i think if you are gay it really is the only option when it comes to sex with another man. Anyone that says they have great sex with condoms is only fooling themselves

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 2, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Hey Jordan, Thank you for clarifying your original comment. I do appreciate your first comment (and this one) and I wasn’t trying to refer to your comment as being bad, because I appreciate all of the comments I receive here, I just wanted to explain my position about why I wrote this post. I felt that this was a relevant issue and wanted to feature this article here since it related to barebacking.

      I also want to thank you for explaining your position and why you wrote the comment. I hope you didn’t feel the need to defend your comment, because comments with differing opinions are always welcome here and add to the conversation. I am also aware of the risks involved with barebacking and while I am currently HIV negative, I accept the risks and consequences every time I have bareback sex. I also feel that it’s important for anyone who has bareback sex, whether it be working in the adult industry or having unprotected sex in a personal situation to be aware of the risks involved with barebacking.

      I appreciate all the comments you have written here in the past Jordan and I hope you will continue commenting in the future. 🙂

  9. Joseph
    January 5, 2015 at 10:19 am
    Reply

    Hello Again-

    any further info on the post yet? i read the comment about two Twitter posts
    and a fav site of mine. i put very little if any credence to anything said on Twitter.

    also is the mandatory condom useage ordinance just for L.A. County or the
    entire state of California? most str8 porn is shot thru out Ca. and str8 porn is
    still approx. 97% bareback.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 6, 2015 at 3:06 am

      Hey Joseph, I haven’t heard anything else about this situation, but any new information I become aware of will be presented here. I also agree with what you’re saying about Twitter. Social media is a great tool for sharing information, but the reliability of the information cannot be guaranteed and as a result, should be treated with caution.

      The mandatory condom requirement relates to Los Angeles county only. California rejected the introduction of this legislation state wide last year, but I’m sure another attempt will be introduced again.

  10. seaguy
    January 7, 2015 at 6:10 am
    Reply

    Doesn’t Mania Media aka Barebackthathole (plus some other sites) also do a lot of their scenes in Nevada? And Sketchysex shoots in Las Vegas per an interview Dakota Wolfe did with another blog written by Zach.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

      Hey Seaguy, Some of the Mania Media sites such as Bareback That Hole and Breed Me Raw might film in Nevada, but I’m really not sure about their exact filming locations. I thought that Sketchy Sex filmed their scenes in Arizona, but as you have pointed out in the article (http://str8upgayporn.com/sketchy-sex-bareback-gangbang-porn/) as well as previous comments on this post, it appears that Sketchy Sex scenes are filmed in Nevada. I have written to the site representative asking about where Sketchy Sex is filmed, but I haven’t heard back yet, so I have added Sketchy Sex to the list of sites filming in Nevada based on the Twitter locations and the interview confirming this location. I am not implying anything by this, I am simply updating the list of sites that film in Nevada and I’m happy to modify this list if anyone can confirm any other studios filming bareback scenes in Nevada.

  11. seaguy
    January 8, 2015 at 5:48 am
    Reply

    Ultimately even with testing your still taking some risk if your doing bareback so I hope the actors are guys who are able to accept being poz and not let it slow them down or change their life that much. Embrace it and make the best of it.

    • Brad Berrigan
      January 9, 2015 at 2:16 am

      Hey Seaguy, I totally agree with what you’re saying about HIV testing still involving risks. Even with the most advanced testing methods currently available, the window period is a number of days, which is why I also hope the models consider the risks involved before making a decision about whether they want to accept the potential risks involved with filming bareback porn.

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