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Lara Roxx: “I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world.”

Lara Roxx: “I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world.”

Lara Roxx, the first woman to be diagnosed as HIV-positive in HIV firestorm sweeping through the adult industry, never wanted to be the center of attention.

When she arrived in L.A. in mid-March from Montreal, on a ticket paid for with borrowed funds, her short brown hair streaked with pink, all she wanted to do was perform in enough scenes to create a nest-egg that she could take back to Canada and use to go on with her life.

Instead, she’s now broke, jobless and had been staying with friends, and if the tests come back Saturday evening as she’s hoping they won’t, HIV-positive.

“My manager [Daniel Perrault] woke me up on that morning that they all found out,” Roxx told AVN.com. “I was very upset on that day; I don’t even remember what day it was.”

It was Tuesday, April 13, the day the news broke that popular performer Darren James had contracted HIV – the first active performer on the straight side of the industry to do so in nearly five years.

But for Roxx, the story started two months earlier.

It was around February 10, 2004. Roxx had been performing, mostly for Canadian-based Internet sites, for exactly one month, and she was about to do her first boy/girl scene for an American video feature.

“When I first walked into Daniel Perrault’s office, I told him what I was ready to do, and he told me he wasn’t ready to represent me under those conditions,” Roxx stated on April 16. “I told him I wasn’t interested in anal at all, and I was a little freaky about the no-condom thing, too. I’m educated about the STDs since I’m in grade 3. I was educated about condoms. I knew I didn’t want any STDs. I was protecting myself in the proper ways to not catch STDs, the ways I was taught.”

But though she’d been a dancer for three years, Roxx wasn’t very familiar with the adult video industry, and she admits that later, when she decided to accept offers to do scenes in L.A., Perrault advised her that he thought she was too innocent to survive the U.S. porn scene.

Perrault nonetheless brought Roxx into contact with director Marc Anthony, who was reportedly in Montreal scouting for talent, and he in turn introduced her to his actors, Darren James and Max Black. Roxx thinks there was another actor, possibly Canadian, named Max who was also present.

Perrault had arranged for Roxx to have an HIV test, but she’s not sure what kind of test that was; just that blood was drawn for it.

“Really, that’s a question for Daniel Perrault or the lab where I took my test,” Roxx responded. “I think it’s AIM’s equivalent in Canada, but we don’t have to test for Chlamydia or gonorrhea; we only test for syphilis and HIV.”

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Patricia Petite, who also works with Perrault, is said to have been working with an ELISA test. Petite is on the first-generation A list, those who had sexual contact with James.

At this point, Roxx doesn’t know whether the test was PCR-DNA or ELISA, but when she flew to Los Angeles a few weeks later, at the urging of L.A.-based manager Thomas Hope, one of the first things she did was go to AIM for a new PCR-DNA test, and that was negative for HIV.

“There’s a rumor out there that I might have given him [Darren] the virus,” Roxx noted, “and I don’t care about what people say because I know the truth and that’s what’s important to me.”

The executive director of AIM, Dr. Sharon Mitchell, confimed today that James' is still believed to be the source of the HIV-virus, and he is believed to have obtained the virus from Brazil.

Now freshly tested, Roxx was booked for some scenes for Devil’s Films… and then she got another offer from Marc Anthony for March 24.

“When I got there, me and Marc had a little conversation, because Thomas Hope told me I was going to do a d.p., and so I get there and Marc Anthony tells me it’s a d.a., which stands for double anal, “ Roxx recalled. “And I’m like, ‘What? I’ve never done a double anal.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, that’s what we need. It’s either that or nothing.’ And that’s how they do it.

"But Marc Anthony was playing that, and I think that really sucks, because I’m mad at the friend I thought I had in Marc, because he knew double anal was dangerous. I knew it too, really, probably, but I was just putting it way back in my mind because I was down in California to make the maximum amount of money, to come back home wealthy. I had plans for the money.”

The scene was to be with Marc and Darren, but before getting into the action, the performers chatted, with Marc telling Roxx about his and Darren’s recent trip to Brazil.

“He told me that, but I didn’t take that as, oh, people in Brazil may be fuckin’ dirty or whatever,” Roxx explained. “I was like, ‘Oh, cool; how was Brazil? How was their festival over there? Was it fun?’ I didn’t ask him if Darren slept with a girl with HIV over there, you know.”

But not being schooled in the ways of porn, Roxx didn’t know that it was commonplace for performers to show each other their tests before beginning a scene.

“I wasn’t experienced enough to go up to people and ask them for their test, and the only person that showed me their test before we had a sexual relation was, unfortunately, Marc Anthony.”

The double anal came off as planned, but the next day, Roxx made a painful discovery.

“The day after that scene, I had a rash appeared on my ass; a rash like I’ve never had before, and I was in pain. I couldn’t sit on my butt.”

Roxx went to the medical clinic run by Dr. Rigg, where a doctor – Roxx’s not sure who – prescribed a course of antibiotics.

“That stupid doctor prescribed me stupid antibiotics without even looking at it [the rash],” Roxx protested. “He was like afraid.”

A friend, actress RayVeness, took Roxx back to the Rigg clinic on March 30 and raised hell about the treatment she had been given there.

“The first medicine, the antibiotics I was taking,” Roxx said, “were so strong that they gave me a yeast infection, so the rash on my butt was gone, but I had a huge, huge – the biggest yeast infection I’ve ever had in my life.”

“I spent all my money from that scene that was remaining, after I paid [them] back for my plane ticket, on doctors,” Roxx said bitterly.

“After that, I saw another doctor from AIM,” she continued, “because I was like, ‘Fuck Dr. Rigg.’ I felt sick and I didn’t want to work while I was feeling sick; I felt so sick I wasn’t able to work. So I went to see that [AIM] doctor; he was very young, but I’m sure he was very well intentioned and he very much cared about his job and the people he was taking care of, and I think that was a good doctor. So we did all kinds of tests, but they wouldn’t give me test results because I just spent all my money at Rigg.”

Roxx isn’t sure just when she saw the AIM doctor for her yeast infection, but she knows it was sometime in early April.

“They were not only taking my blood; they were doing all kinds of – they were taking mucus samples from my toes, my vagina, everywhere,” she recalled. “The AIM doctor prescribed me something for bacterial vaginosis, which I took, and I hope I’m rid of that shit now. And he diagnosed me with genital warts, which I think that might have [caused] the rash on my butt on that day. I don’t know too much except for what was on that paper from AIM.”

Roxx also developed a case viral pharyngitis, for which she went to Northridge Hospital on April 10 and received medication. It was while she was taking the prescribed drugs and recuperating that Roxx received the fateful call from Perrault.

“When Daniel told me that Darren James was HIV positive, it totally freaked me out,” Roxx said. “It totally made me realize how I trusted this system that wasn’t to be trusted at all, because it obviously doesn’t work.

“We should think about these issues right now, to change stuff around to make this a safer fuckin’ business. It isn’t a safe business, and I thought it was, and I would have not did that scene with no condom with Darren James if it would have crossed my mind that those tests weren’t good and that I couldn’t trust him or the people he’s been with. I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world, is what I thought.”

As this is written, Lara Roxx is waiting for the results of her second round of tests for HIV, hoping that the first positive test was just a mistake. She’s also thinking about what her future will be like if she has the virus, and muses about taking some classes in filmmaking at UCLA – if she can afford it.

Those wishing to make contributions to help Roxx get back on her feet can send them or drop them off at AVN, 9414 Eton Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311, and they will be delivered to Roxx.

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