HIV Scandal Rocks Brit Gay Porn Industry
Bareback trend leads to tragedy
Posted Mar 06th, 2008 05:23 PM by Trent Brown
— "BBC Newsnight" reports that three gay porn movies have been withdrawn from sale following a "Newsnight" investigation into the health risks associated with "bareback" gay porn, which depicts men having unprotected sex with other men.
According to "Newsnight," two of the DVDs in question featured footage from a week-long shoot during which eight British performers engaged in sex with each other without condoms.
Four of those who took part in the shoot were later diagnosed as HIV positive. One of the men told the BBC he was distressed because he believed the footage being sold showed him becoming infected.
Well-known American gay director Chi Chi LaRue told the BBC, "After all the gay community has been through, why are we putting people at risk for porn?"
"Newsnight" also reported that in a separate case, British gay-porn producer Rufus Ffoulkes was jailed last week on a child pornography charge for putting a 16-year-old boy in a gay porn movie. The boy also engaged in unprotected sex.
As a result of the BBC investigation, Britain's leading bareback production company, Icreme, has announced it will begin shooting condom-only scenes.
While most heterosexual pornography is performed without condoms, unprotected sex became somewhat taboo in gay porn after HIV and AIDS emerged in the 1980s, the BBC noted.
Some sex experts believe that the bareback phenomenon could be seen as something of a reaction against all the safe-sex gay porn that's been the norm. Ceri Evans, senior sexual health adviser at the West London Centre for Sexual Health, told "Newsnight," "I think that there is a possibility of something being called condom fatigue," she said. "We have been talking about condoms so long that people are bored or think they know it all. Education in schools is not what it could be, for anybody, for heterosexual but particularly if you are gay."
In Britain, there is now a campaign against bareback porn being lead by a gay-porn director named Steven Brewer.
Brewer is asking producers and performers to agree to and sign a code of practice that is designed to minimize the health risks associated with gay porn.
Speaking to "Newsnight," Brewer said, "I just don't want another 18-year-old model crying on my shoulder not sure how to tell his partner or his parents that he is now HIV positive."