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Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader


In 1999, in a letter to the editor of POZ magazine, prominent sex worker rights activist Priscilla Alexander argued that strict condom use, not mandatory testing of performers, should be used to control HIV transmission in the production of heterosexual porn.i She was outraged that the industry's response to an HIV outbreak the previous year, when one actor transmitted the virus to six women on set, was to agree to more frequent and accurate testing: "Getting tested for HIV and other STDs is not a preventative measure," she scoffed. Furthermore, she argued, adult industry performers are workers "who should be protected by occupational safety and health regulations no less than those in a mine, factory, or any other worksite that has occupational health hazards." Like hard hats for construction workers, "condoms, latex dams, gloves and non-penetrative acts" for performers should be required, Alexander insisted (Alexander 1999).