Despite What Some Say, No, These Adult Video Stars Did Not Deserve HIV

September 20, 2013  |  

 

Source: Instagram

I’m not understanding how folks can be so cavalier and cold about the news that several adult film stars have tested positive for HIV.

In case you haven’t heard: Several adult film performers including Cameron Bay (above) has come forward to speak about being HIV-positive and why the adult film industry should change its rules to mandate the use of condoms in films. In one part of the press conference, which was organized by an HIV prevention group aiming to persuade the adult film industry to push condom use during filming, Bay tells reporters that during her last Adult Video shoot, the private part of her co-star was bleeding. Unfortunately, that shoot was right before she tested positive for HIV, this according to the Huffington Post. Although Bay said that condoms were available on set, it was not required to use during the shoot. She also said that she didn’t think she needed to use condoms as her co-host tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases during his last routine test. And even after noticing that her co-star was leaking blood from his private part, the production stopped only briefly to clean up, but filming continued soon after.

There are lots more details to the story, which you can read here in The Huffington Post. But that is pretty much the gist of it. Someone had HIV and passed it along. Needless to say, the story is making lots of folks cringe in sheer horror and disbelief. There were so many mistakes and so much negligence in this situation that you wonder why there was no voice of reason on that day of filming. But I will say that these performers, particularly Bay, have definitely made the case for why it is time for the adult film industry to start requiring and enforcing condom use in its films. Clearly STD testing alone is not enough to keep industry workers safe.

Unfortunately, that is not the conversation folks are having. In fact, many of the comments below the article are filled with blame, indifference, and flat out callousness to the health concerns raised by the adult film stars. I think this comment best illustrates the temperature of the thread:

“It’s sad that she has HIV.HIV is a horrible disease, but at the same time I can’t feel sorry for any of them. P**n is highly risky and they KNEW this before going into the business; no one forces anyone to do it so why cry? why “speak out”? would they be crying and speaking out if they didn’t contract it yet??? I bet you they would still be filming right now and WITHOUT A CONDOM.”

I think there is a kernel of truth to the idea that with certain jobs, one must assume certain risk. But I also believe that’s a point, which we could logically make against most lines of dangerous work. However, we don’t blame the miner if he loses an arm in an oil rig explosion; nor do we say to a doctor or nurse who might have accidentally infected themselves with HIV while on the job, “tough breaks; you know the risk; should have been a teacher.” Instead, we understand that although these often thankless jobs come with high risk, these risks that these professionals take ensure that we can have certain benefits in society – whether it be good health, crime free streets, and healthy sexual stimulation. And yes, Adult Videos are a very intrinsic art in our society – whether we like to admit it or not.

There is no denying that Adult Videos have value in our society. But just in case some of you might want to act “brand new,” there is no denying statistically the consumption of p*rnographic material in our society. Let’s just consider the online use of it shall we?

According to this article, Xvideos, one of the free Adult Video sites on the Internet, receives 4.4 billion page views and 350 unique visitors per month. In fact, it is estimated that 30 percent of all web traffic is Adult Video-related (around 1 in 4 search queries) and 12 percent of the websites on the Internet are p*rnographic. And according to the Business Insider, right at this very moment as you are reading this column, 30,000 other people are on the Internet somewhere watching Adult Videos. Moreover, it is estimated that there are 40 million regular consumers of online Adult Videos in America and account for half of the world’s online Adult Video revenue, which is estimated at $4.9 billion annually. Needless to say, the nudies are as American as apple pie – especially the warm and sticky kind of apple pie.

It seems that folks’ faux-moral indignation over the career choice of these performers (i.e. adult films) is clouding their sense of what is ethically right. But make no mistake that this is not a issue over the validity of Adult Videos, but rather, an issue of increasing the safety standards of a workplace. A safe workplace should be an expectation and right of any employee – regardless of profession. Overall, I think it is very brave of these performers to come forward and share their truths in order to bring about change, especially in the face of many folks, who on one hand, have found various ways to say that they deserve it. And then on the other hand…well, we know what they are doing with that hand. Nasty.

 

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