LOS ANGELES—Four-time AVN Director of the Year Axel Braun today put two new performer safety policies into place for all of his productions moving forward: They will no longer forgo the use of condoms, and he will require full-panel STD/HIV tests no older than seven days, the cost of which he will personally cover if a performer's current test is older.
While Braun is already directing condom-only projects for Wicked Pictures, he will now extend that policy to his own Axel Braun Productions titles. And as the industry standard testing protocol is currently 14 days, he is prepared to absorb the expense incurred by performers to get tested within his newly required timeframe.
“The recent series of HIV outbreaks is a clear indication that something needs to be done in order to protect our talent pool and prevent this from happening again,” Braun said. “Maybe the last one hit too close to home, since patient zero was booked on my set the day he was diagnosed, or maybe my integrity is becoming more important than my bottom line, but I have finally come to believe that our system is broken, and I’m simply trying to do what I can to fix it on my end.”
Braun’s decision comes seven months after the director implemented a “21 and over” policy, raising the age limit for talent in his productions.
“There is is still plenty more that needs to be done, and it can’t be accomplished until the industry comes together to outline a new, comprehensive protocol. While I have been vocal against condoms in the past, I have come to realize that deep down my stance was motivated by financial gain, and that adult movies with condoms can be just as successful and arousing as the ones without them. We just have to make better movies.”
Braun proffered his first ABP condom-only title, I Fucked My Stepmom, as a perfect example of this assertion. Starring top draws Veronica Avluv, Romi Rain, Allison Moore, Jennifer Dark and Tara Holiday, the movie contains a psychological component and heat level, he contended, that transcend the presence of condoms.
“Just like with the age limit, I certainly don’t expect other companies to follow my example and start using condoms or paying for talent testing,” Braun said, “but it wouldn’t be fair for me to advocate performer safety and then ignore the most obviously effective STD/HIV barrier, or place the burden of additional costs on the very people I’m trying to protect.
"If my policy can prevent even one person from being exposed to an STD, it is well worth it for me."
I Fucked My Stepmom arrives on DVD May 14 through Wicked Pictures.