A leading adult film producer demanded an apology Thursday over claims about an actor's HIV test that triggered a suspension of US porn filming, as it awaits final test results for "Patient A."
But an AIDS group which campaigns for condoms to be used on porn film sets refused to say it was sorry, boasting that it had managed to "smoke out" more details, nearly a week after the latest HIV scare shut down the lucrative US industry.
Manwin, a Luxembourg-based company with offices in Montreal and Los Angeles, said that an actor working for one of its websites was awaiting test confirmation for the AIDS virus, after initial tests raised the possibility.
But it dismissed claims by a Los Angeles-based group, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), suggesting it had allowed the actor to work after he had had the initial suspect test.
"The AHF statement is an unacceptable attempt to undermine the reputation of our producers through the publication of false information," said a statement by Manwin, demanding an immediate retraction of the AHF statement.
The hugely lucrative US porn movie industry, based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, voluntarily suspended production after the HIV positive test last weekend.
On Wednesday the AHF, which has long campaigned for the use of condoms in adult films, said it had filed a "sanitary nuisance" complaint with Florida state and federal authorities against Brazzers, one of Manwin's websites.
But Manwin said the actor concerned had not worked for Brazzers, but rather for another of its websites, mofos.com -- and also insisted that he stopped working as soon as an initial test indicated that he might be HIV positive.
"At no time did 'Patient A' perform or provide any services for any of our producers after any test results were disclosed reflecting even the possibility of HIV exposure or infection," it said.
"In addition, 'Performer A' has never worked for Brazzers.com. The performer in question has performed for a separate website known as Mofos.com. To this extent, statements to the contrary are inaccurate and possibly defamatory."
Manwin said its lawyers had written to the AHF demanding that it retract its statements and apologize.
But hours later AHF responded by saying it had forced the porn film giant to give at least some information on the circumstances of the latest scare.
AHF head Michael Weinstein said he would not retract anything he had said Wednesday, arguing that the group had made clear it was citing Internet reports to try to find out more facts.
"I am not in habit of apologizing for telling the truth. The technicality of the fact that its not Brazzers but a related website is inconsequential," he told AFP.
"We stated very clearly yesterday that we were relying on unofficial reports and that we were trying to smoke out the truth."
As for the actor at the center of the row, Manwin said: "We are currently waiting for a final and clear result on whether or not 'Patient A' has tested positive for HIV.
"This process and its corresponding privacy implications means that we cannot comment further until the full results have been legally transmitted and disclosed."
Last year at least four major film producers suspended filming for several weeks from October after a porn actor, 24-year-old Derrick Burts, tested positive for the HIV virus which causes AIDS.
Last year's HIV case was the first in over a year in the industry, and comes six years after up to 14 actors tested HIV positive, forcing several film firms to close.