Self-Regulation in the Adult Film Industry: Why Are HIV Outbreaks the Exception and Not the Norm?
30 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2008 Last revised: 23 Apr 2015
Date Written: October 15, 2008
This paper analyzes how self-interest and long-term profit expectations provided the necessary incentives for the adult film industry to self-regulate and to find mechanisms to minimize the risks of HIV outbreaks that could result from the asymmetric information and network effects that characterize the industry. With the help of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), the adult film industry developed a corporate culture to facilitate widespread coordination among members and to make the industry similar to a private club. First, I discuss the predicted effects of asymmetric information and network-effect problems on the industry in terms of HIV outbreaks. Second, I tell the story of AIM and present the policies the industry has adopted since AIM's creation to mitigate those predicted effects. In particular, I discuss how the industry managed the 2004 HIV outbreak without government intervention. Finally, I present statistics comparing HIV infection rates in the industry and general population as well as additional observations to assess the relative effectiveness of the industry in preventing and containing HIV outbreaks.
Keywords: Asymmetric Information, Adverse Selection, AIDS, Clubs, HIV, Network Effects, Self-Regulation, Sexually Transmitted Diseases
JEL Classification: D710, D820, I180, K320
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation