February 25, 1964
|Other names||Sarren James, Darrin J., Darren Edwards, Darrin|
|Years active||1997-2005 (as performer)|
2004-2006 (as director)
|Known for||Transmission of HIV to 3 pornographic actresses during the shooting period|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
Darren James (born February 25, 1964) is an American former pornographic actor and director. He gained notoriety after he contracted the HIV virus and infected three pornographic actresses in 2004.
Discovery of infection and aftermath
In an attempt to prevent a possible outbreak, an urgent search was initiated for potentially infected performers. The search and subsequent testing were conducted by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, where James had received his diagnosis. It was concluded that James had possibly been infected while engaging in unprotected anal sex with Brazilian actress Bianca Biaggi, during a scene for the video Split That Booty 2 in Rio de Janeiro.
It was discovered that three actresses who had worked with James shortly after his return to the United States had also become infected: Canadian newcomer Lara Roxx, Mareisa Arroyo, and Czech-born Jessica Dee. Roxx had entered the adult industry only two months before contracting the virus. Upon learning about the HIV outbreak, she has 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," and "I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world."
Judy Star appeared in several movies Roxx also appeared in and was known to have performed a sex scene with a female actress who had performed a scene with James. Star, however, tested negative for HIV. The ensuing fears of HIV infection (as well as the public scandal and criticism of the industry that followed the outbreak) caused a temporary shutdown of production of adult movies in Southern California.
According to James, his diagnosis and the public disclosure thereof — which was how his family learned of his pornographic career — left him so distraught that he attempted suicide. After his recovery, he sued the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation for publicly disclosing his condition. The lawsuit was settled out of court, with terms remaining confidential. James went on to find employment as a security guard. In 2005, the porn industry shutdown was the subject of the first episode of The Dark Side of Porn, a British documentary series produced for Channel 4.
James has remained very vocal about the incident and about adult filmmakers' continuing their habits "as usual". He is a staunch advocate of the mandatory use of condoms on porn sets to protect performers from HIV. Canadian documentary filmmaker Mia Donovan made a documentary film Inside Lara Roxx (2011), after following Roxx's life for five years, with candid interviews and documentation, in addition to footage from Darren James.
- "Darren James". Internet Adult Film Database. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Nick Madigan (May 10, 2004). "Voice of Health in a Pornographic World". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
- AVN :: Test Results Pending for Two Performers Archived June 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Gene Ross (May 27, 2007). "Lara Roxx Timeline Begs Questions: Darren James got it from Lara Roxx, not the other way around?". Adult FYI. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008.
- "Pyramid of potential infection". Los Angeles Times. April 16, 2004. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
Time line of potential first and second generation infections
- Nick Madigan (April 30, 2004). "New H.I.V. Infection Found in Sex-Film Industry". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "AVN - Another First-Gen Woman Diagnosed as HIV-Positive". Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- "AVN - Viral Load Results Indicate James was 'Patient Zero'". Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- "Lara Roxx: "I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world."". Adult Video News. April 17, 2004. Archived from the original on May 10, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009.
- "Canadian Trio on the Quarantine List; Doghouse Digital Offers Aid". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- "On the Roxx" Archived June 30, 2012, at Archive.today, by Kristian Gravenor, Montreal Mirror, 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Nick Madigan (April 17, 2004). "H.I.V. Cases Shut Down Pornography Film Industry". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Lin II, Rong-Gong (June 15, 2008). "Porn star recalls nightmare of testing HIV positive". Los Angeles Times.
- The Dark Side of Porn. UK: Channel 4. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Lin II, Rong-Gong (October 12, 2010). "Former porn star Darren James speaks out about latest HIV case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Christine Estima (May 8, 2012). "Hot Docs interview: Mia Donovan, director of Inside Lara Roxx". TheGATE.ca. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Brian McKechnie (May 5, 2012). "Interview: Filmmaker Mia Donovan looks at what's 'Inside Lara Roxx'". Criticize This, Canada. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.