My Thoughts on the Current HIV Situation

by Rachel Worth
Worth-a-Million Productions
May 6, 2004

(Torrance, CA) As all the news pours in about adult performers who have recently tested positive for HIV (5, as of last night), it has taken me a while to digest the implications, filter through my emotions and clarify my thoughts. I am very sad about what has happened in this Industry, an Industry whose members have warmly included me in their fold for over five years, and for whom I have developed great affection. Prior to personally meeting the people involved in producing the adult movies I so enjoyed, I had a very different sense of what they, or anyone else involved in the Adult Industry, were like.

The people I've met in the Adult Industry since my initial involvement in September, 1998, have been some of the nicest, friendliest, warmest, and most fun people I've ever met. Performing in adult movies is their chosen profession. They get paid well for doing something they enjoy. They are not "skanky, smelly whores" to be cast aside like last week's rotting garbage. It really angers me to see the way some of the guys on message boards refer to the women in adult movies. Some (thank goodness, not all) of these porn-lovers don't give a damn about the women and prefer to hold onto the fantasy of a pornstar as a filthy, drugged-out slut. Does that make them feel macho? They seem to enjoy seeing the girls prodded with huge toys, dragged around by their hair, peed on, choked, slapped, or bleeding and vomiting from being battered and probed. They want to see girls pounded hard in every orifice without condoms being used.

And, some of the porn producers cater to their desires by making their movies more and more violent and disgusting. They are producing the kind of trash that is the fodder the goverment will use to dismantle us all. I believe in freedom of speech and protecting first amendment rights, but I believe that the depiction of sexual acts in a violent or unsafe manner goes too far. It may endanger lives, as we are now seeing first-hand! I don't think it belongs in adult videos where some of the young, undeveloped brains devouring the porn pablum assume this is the way they should treat women.

I am very concerned about some companies' careless disregard of the health of performers. There are some extrememly unsafe sexual practices forced upon performers in movies--and we all know what they are--that are invitations for serious diseases for the women and the men. Why don't the performers stand up for the right to protect their health and well-being? Because, most commonly, many of the male and female actors feel powerless to say "no" to certain acts or working condomless because they may be labeled as difficult to work with, or may be passed over for a risky role that someone else is willing to perform.

As I said earlier, I care about these people. They deserve respect and safety in the workplace. In my opinion, ALL vaginal or anal penetration should be performed using condoms--no exceptions! I'm really not sure how to make oral sex acts safe, enjoyable and still look erotic. All people returning to the U.S. after performing in other countries--as well as people from other countries who come here to work--should be prevented from working for at least 30 days, or, even better, 60 days. It seems to be obvious and necessary. Unsafe sex acts, such as those described in the above paragraph should be illegal.

To all those in the Industry affected by the current crisis, my thoughts are with you. I can't begin to imagine the nightmare you are going through. There are many on the secondary lists that I know personally, and I sincerely hope you are okay.

Let's all pay attention to this important wake-up call and strive to make the needed changes to improve the Industry for all of us.

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