ATLANTA — A gay porn star infected two other individuals — one another performer — with HIV despite testing negative less than a month before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week in what it’s calling the “first well-documented” such case.
According to researchers, in 2014 a 25-year-old gay porn actor, “Patient A” in the report, tested negative for HIV and over the next 22 days had unprotected sex with 17 others. The next HIV test came back positive and further testing showed he’d transmitted the virus to two men, one of whom was another adult film performer.
In the report titled “Occupational HIV transmission Among Male Adult Film Performers,” the CDC reports:
• Patient A tested positive for HIV and rectal gonorrhea after six days of symptoms. Ten days before the symptoms began, he’d tested negative for HIV.
• During the 22 ensuing days after the first test, Patient A had sex with 12 male performers in work for two different production companies. He also provided contact information for five male non-work-related sexual partners he’d had during the month prior to symptom onset.
• Neither Patient A nor any of his interviewed sexual partners were on PrEP.
• Through tracing of HIV sequences, researchers said Patient A was likely infected by a non-work-related partner and that Patient A then likely infected both a coworker during the second production and a non-work partner.
The CDC said testing alone is “not sufficient” to prevent HIV transmission.
“Condom use provides additional protection from HIV and sexually transmitted infections,” CDC officers said in the report. “Performers and all persons at risk for HIV infection in their professional and personal lives should discuss the use of PrEP with their medical providers.”
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said the porn industry failed this individual, who has not been named.
“For years adult film producers have claimed that their testing program works and that performers who tested HIV-positive while working in the industry did not contract HIV at work, but became infected through exposure in their personal lives away from adult film sets,” he said. “Today’s report from the CDC puts truth to that industry lie.”