Journal Article

Epidemiologic Investigation of a Cluster of Workplace HIV Infections in the Adult Film Industry: Los Angeles, California, 2004

Melanie M. Taylor, Harlan Rotblatt, John T. Brooks, Jorge Montoya, Getahun Aynalem, Lisa Smith, Kerry Kenney, Lori Laubacher, Tony Bustamante, Robert Kim-Farley, Jonathan Fielding, Bruce Bernard, Eric Daar and Peter R. Kerndt

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 2, pages 301-305
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/510487
Epidemiologic Investigation of a Cluster of Workplace HIV Infections in the Adult Film Industry: Los Angeles, California, 2004

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Background. Adult film production is a legal, multibillion dollar industry in California. In response to reports of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission by an adult film worker, we sought to determine the extent of HIV infection among exposed workers and to identify means of improving worker safety.

Methods. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services initiated an outbreak investigation that included interviews of infected workers to elicit information about recent sex partners, review of the testing agency's medical records and laboratory results, molecular analysis of HIV isolates from the 4 infected workers, and a risk assessment of HIV transmission in the adult film industry.

Results. Many adult film workers participate in a monthly program of screening for HIV infection by means of polymerase chain reaction-based technology to detect HIV DNA in blood. A male performer tested negative for HIV on 12 February 2004 and 17 March 2004, then tested positive for HIV on 9 April 2004. During the period between the negative test results, he experienced a flulike illness after performing unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse for an adult film produced outside the United States by a US company. After returning to California, he performed unprotected sex acts for adult films with 13 female partners who had all tested negative for HIV in the preceding 30 days; 3 subsequently tested positive for HIV (a 23% attack rate). Contact tracing identified no reasonable sources of infection other than the male index patient.

Conclusion. Although current testing methods may shorten the window period to diagnosis of new HIV infection, they fail to prevent occupational acquisition of HIV in this setting. A California Occupational Safety and Health Administration-approved written health and safety program that emphasizes primary prevention is needed for this industry.

Journal Article.  3090 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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