Oh my.... Cocodorm

Been quite busy but had to share this in case you haven't seen it....

Local gay Internet site believed linked to the spread of HIV/STDs
By Gary Barlow
Staff writer
pulled from http://www.chicagofreepress.com

At the urging of Chicago Department of Public Health officials, the City of Chicago slapped a cease-and-desist order on the Lakeview home of an online gay porn site April 20 after concerns were raised about cases of HIV and other STDs tied to the site’s models.

Christopher Brown, assistant commissioner for HIV/AIDS/STD programs at CDPH, said health officials acted after uncovering “credible” evidence that models at FlavaWorks.com, which also operated CocoBoyz Dorm Room online, were HIV-positive, were engaging in unsafe sex practices and were spreading HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea through contact with individuals outside the business.

Brown said CDPH’s initial involvement came in late December after HIV service providers called CDPH to express “concerns that some of their clients could be seen on the website engaging in unsafe sex.”

“We also became aware of cases of HIV linked to some of the models,” Brown said.

The business allowed members to go online and view models engaging in sex in a “dorm room” setting that was staged in an apartment at 933 W. Irving Park Road. The models were predominately black and Latino. Members could also pay more to have the models perform specific sex acts.

Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Licensing issued the cease-and-desist order prohibiting the business from operating at the Irving Park Road location. Brown said CDPH Comm. Terry Moore also plans to issue a cease-and-desist order.

Brown said the business owner had been “less than cooperative” with city officials’ efforts to stop the spread of HIV and other diseases and get CocoBoyz models in for counseling, treatment and testing.

“Our main concern was the dorm,” Brown said. “Our goal is to immediately look at the models, screen them and address their needs.”

By the time city officials and police showed up the morning of April 20, CocoBoyz had already cleared out of the apartment. A man who identified himself as Jackson Robinson, manager of the business, said he and the owner closed it because they knew the city planned to shut it down. Robinson denied the city’s charges in a phone interview.

“There’s no one HIV-positive in our dorm, so that’s untrue,” Robinson said. “The models also engage in safe sexual practices.”

He said he felt the primary reason the city moved against the porn business was that it didn’t have the proper license. He said he’d repeatedly been turned down for a license.

Brown scoffed at Robinson’s denials.

“We had evidence and reports from what I would consider credible sources that there was HIV and STDs among the models at CocoBoyz dorm room, and unsafe sex could be viewed right there on the website,” Brown said.

Brown stopped short of saying the porn models engaged in prostitution with customers, but said, “Yes, through our conversations, there were individuals who became infected through contact with the models.”

There are also allegations that the business used unusual labor contracts with its models, which, according to one source, “at least bordered on illegal servitude.” The 30-day contracts allegedly required the models to perform a certain number of sexual acts in exchange for a stipend. But, when the models tried to collect the stipends, they were told they were being charged for such things as food and bed linens, leaving them, in some cases, in debt rather than collecting money. They were then pressured to sign new contracts.

Robinson said the business, which dates back to 1999, is looking for a new home outside Chicago and will reopen “whenever we can be licensed and incorporated somewhere else.”


Anonymous said...

now that is a mess

ShawnQt said...

makes you wonder... and what about other sites like m4m and a4a... could this be also a breeding ground for stds as well?

Rodney said...

It is what it is. I believe most of the story, but I am not so quick to point fingers or judge anyone because everybody is grown. The world is a breeding ground for stds. They are everywhere. Those who are informed and careful avoid them. This story just heightens my awareness that everyone needs to be informed and careful.