PORN VALLEY—In a not-unexpected announcement today, Vivid Entertainment, one of the world's leading adult producers, said that it is set to resume movie production on Monday, November 8, after being for almost a month because of health safety concerns.
The move was apparently triggered by the announcement yesterday from the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation that the final actress who could possibly have contracted HIV from the performer now known as "Patient Zeta" has been cleared after the second round of PCR-DNA testing, and has been allowed to resume her acting career.
"The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation has completed testing of two generations of partners of Patient Zeta, from both personal and professional life," AIM General Manager Jennifer Miller said today. "All persons tested negative for HIV on two occasions, using multiple testing methods. It has been established that Patient Zeta acquired the virus through private, personal activity and there was no transmission of the HIV virus from Patient Zeta to anyone else."
"This event affirms the efficacy of AIM Healthcare Foundation’s testing protocols, as voluntarily implemented by the adult entertainment industry," she continued. "It is regrettable but inevitable that people continue to acquire the HIV virus in their personal life. The protocols and other industry practices have resulted in only one incident of HIV transmission on set in more than a decade. That is a remarkable record. AIM Healthcare Foundation is proud of its contribution to the health and well-being of the adult industry and wider community."
Vivid had halted production immediately and voluntarily on Tuesday, October 12, after AIM had issued a "Red Alert" that an unidentified performer had tested positive for HIV, and that several others were being quarantined after possibly having been exposed to the virus.
"We made the decision to halt production as the health and well-being of our performers is of utmost importance to us," said Steven Hirsch, founder/co-chairman of Vivid. "We can now confirm that all performers who were on the quarantine list as a result of being exposed to the HIV positive performer have gone through two rounds of testing and the results are negative. We believe that AIM acted professionally and thoroughly and proved that their system works. We will, of course, continue to require recent test results for all performers in our movies and will continue to take all necessary precautions to assure their health and safety."
Mark Kulkis, founder of Kick Ass Pictures, expressed similar sentiments.
"I'm glad that the AIM system worked exactly the way it was supposed to," he told AVN. "In this case, it looks like somebody contracted HIV outside the business, and because of the testing, they were not allowed to bring it inside the business, and I think it's proof that the testing works just fine."
Kick Ass resumed production on Thursday, after having been informed that the last of the testing had been completed and the last actress cleared.
Moose, VP of Girlfriends Films, also informed AVN that his company would begin production shortly.
"We're pleased to be resuming production again because the last girl just got pulled out of quarantine, so we're filming again next week," he said.
Joy King, VP of Wicked Pictures, told AVN that her company had resumed production on October 29, in part because all of Wicked's productions are "condom only." A spokesperson for Digital Playground confirmed that that company had also resumed shooting last week, after assuring themselves that all of their contract performers and all others involved in the productions had been cleared by AIM.
Similarly, LFP President Michael H. Klein assured AVN, "We have resumed production at our studios and are continuing to make sure every precaution is taken to protect everyone involved with the filming."
In general, adult producers were relieved that the "crisis" appears to be past, and that there have been no further HIV infections in the hetero performing community.
"We're very excited about getting back into production," Hirsch stated. "Right now we're getting ready to shoot The Incredible Hulk XXX and Sister Wives XXX, both porn parodies."