Thursday, April 22, 2004

Brian Daly

Two more Quebec porn actresses involved in HIV scare: producer

MONTREAL — The HIV porn scare involving a Montreal actress continued to spread as two more performers from the city returned home to await test results after being linked to an HIV-positive actor in Los Angeles.

Patricia Petite and Judy Starr (both pseudonyms) returned to Montreal amid a crisis that has paralysed the porn industry on both sides of the border, Frederic Laverge, a Montreal porn producer, said Wednesday.

Laverge of Productions PSA said he doesn't know the results of Petite and Starr's tests. "They're awaiting their results," said Laverge, who produces a sex-reality show called Pornstar Academie.

"They took tests over there but they came back here, that's all we know."

The revelations followed news that Quebec actress Lara Roxx tested positive for HIV after shooting recent scenes with performer Darren James.

The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation said on its website that Petite and James worked together, while Starr worked with Petite.

An official with Montreal-based Production Eromodel, which has represented Starr and Petite, said Wednesday their test results should be known next week.

The HIV scare has led to a voluntary North American moratorium on porn production that could last until June.

James apparently contracted the virus while shooting a film last month in Brazil.

The names of about 65 performers who had sex with James and Roxx or slept with their movie sex partners were posted on industry quarantine sites that prevent them from working for two months until their next HIV tests are completed.

Claire Thiboutot of Stella, a sex-workers' advocacy group, said the HIV porn scare is a sign the safe-sex message pushed by social groups may have gone ignored.

Industry websites have reported Roxx engaged in simultaneous anal sex with two men, including James, which observers say is an extremely risky activity.

"Many people take risks to achieve their ambitions in the sex trade," said Thiboutot, whose group represents some 5,000 sex-trade workers.

"The best protection is the usage of condoms but the industry bends a bit to the public, who don't like to watch porno films where condoms are used."

The industry crisis has prompted Productions PSA to announce a fundraising effort to help sex-trade workers whose careers have been derailed by AIDS.

The company said Wednesday it will donate up to 10 per cent of the sales from their new DVD to Stella and a second agency that works with AIDS victims.

"It's the first time a local star has been affected by the virus," said Laverge. "For us it's someone who we know, so this confirms to us the fact that this industry has certain risks."

Productions PSA said the DVD will be on sale at video stores across Canada this week.

Auditions for the upcoming season of Pornstar Academie were also suspended for a month to honour the industry moratorium.

Laverge said money raised from DVD sales will be used for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in the Canadian porn industry, which is largely based in Vancouver and Montreal.

Laverge predicted the industry would recover from the HIV scare and perhaps even benefit from increased awareness abut sexually transmitted diseases.

© The Canadian Press 2004

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Created: April 25, 2004
Last modified: April 25, 2004
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