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Bareback Porn Star, 25, Dies

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Apr 2, 2010
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The death, of an AIDS-related illness, of a 25-year-old barebacking porn star is the latest twist in several episodes that have roiled the adult entertainment industry in recent years.

Chad Noel’s March 17 death was reported on at GayPornGossip on March 26. The posting read, "Chad Noel age 25, a former ’twink genre’ gay porn performer using the stage names of Donny Price & Craven Cox passed away in New York City, on March 17, 2010 following a brief illness associated with complications of HIV." The article also noted that Noel had worked for an adult entertainment company that makes videos of men barebacking--a euphemism for unprotected anal sex. Noel had also performed under the names Craven Cox and Donny Price. Noel was a native of Laramie, Wyoming, the town outside of which Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die. A notice of Noel’s death was also published in the Laramie Boomerang on March 23.

Noel’s death is the latest chapter in an ongoing debate about barebacking, both in pornographic films and in gay society. Health experts point to a failure among younger gays to use condoms consistently--or to use them at all--as a leading factor in rising rates of HIV transmission among younger men who have sex with men (MSMs). Even so, observers note that the issue is a sensitive one among practitioners of bareback sex, who feel that safer sex advocates are intrusive with their message of the importance of condom use.

International Mr. Leather founder Chuck Renslow added heat to the controversy when he announced last year in a letter to ILM vendors that no depictions of unprotected anal sex would be allowed for sale at the 2010 edition of the leather convention. "Though we are now three decades into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, no cure has been found," wrote Renslow in a letter sent to event vendors. The CDC and local health officials inform us that new infections are on the rise. And, while we have had some success developing medications that might make infection more manageable, that accomplishment comes at a price.

"Not having experienced the deaths--the loss of loved ones--which preceded these medications, we have an entire generation who may not fully appreciate or comprehend the severity of the situation," Renslow continued. "Too many in our community believe HIV/AIDS is curable or manageable. Too few understand that HIV/AIDS infections dominate life. We believe that it is our duty to inform and educate.

"To that end, after considerable discussion, the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather has decided that it will no longer allow participation in the IML Leather Market by any entity which promotes barebacking or distributes/sells any merchandise tending to promote or advocate barebacking. This restriction will also apply to distribution of gifts, post cards or any other information via our facilities."

A report of a heterosexual adult film actress testing positive last year prompted worries that California lawmakers would step in to regulate the industry more closely. The industry maintains that it is capable of policing itself and needs no government intervention. Some leaders in the field have taken stands for the conspicuous use of condoms in all adult films, among them Russian émigré and porn producer Michael Lucas.

Lucas had also been vocal about the industry’s honoring of adult film star Brent Corrigan, who was awarded with several top honors at last year’s GayVN Awards. Corrigan had appeared with Noel in a 2004 film--now recalled--titled Every Poolboy’s Dream. At the time the film was made, Corrigan was 16 or 17; Lucas excoriated Corrigan, saying that the actor must have known that it was illegal for him to participate in the film at his age, and citing the actor’s alleged possession and use of a fake ID to support that claim.

"As a producer, this is my worst nightmare, having police come with machine guns and taking me into custody," Lucas, a native of Russia who grew up under Communist rule, said in an April 23, 2009, EDGE article. "We should not forgive that. We should not be nominating and celebrating someone who performed underage. The adult industry already has a terrible reputation for exploiting children. I want to be in an industry I can be proud of."

Corrigan, in turn, was reportedly the object of a feud between Cobra Videos founder Bryan Kocis, who had Corrigan under contract, and two other adult film producers, Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes, who wanted to use Corrigan in their own films. Cuadra and Kerekes were accused of murdering Kocis in his home, and then setting a fire that left Kocis’ body badly burned.

Health officials say that the younger generation of MSMs believe that HIV is no longer a life-threatening disease, due to the success of drug regimens in keeping the virus in check. However, HIV- and AIDS-related illnesses and complications do still prove fatal in some cases, and there is no cure for the disease.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2010-04-02 16:19:43

    More proof barebacking porn is public murder.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-02 19:41:07

    Obviously NO ONE is talking about the DRUG FACTOR...and I think it’s entirely Sensationalized Media that the headline says Bareback Porn Star, 25 Dies. If they really cared about stopping young people’s deaths, they’d talk about the real issues instead of again gay porn politics... and I’m not dissing this guy, but if he was a "Bareback Porn Star" I’d have heard of him, trust me on that one.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-02 19:50:21

    Killian, I think you are irresponsible in publishing this story. Are you actually a reporter or commentator with political porn backing, such as IML perhaps?


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-03 11:04:58

    Please explain what is irresponsible about publishing this story.


  • BB, 2010-04-03 19:53:51

    Funny stuff here: "I want to be in an industry I can be proud of," sez PORN PRODUCER Michael Lucas. Okay, if that’s your goal, try medicine or teaching.


  • BB, 2010-04-03 20:42:28

    By the way, just to make sure I’m not crazy, we’re not actually sitting here CELEBRATING this person’s life are we? We’re not getting all teary-eyed over someone who’s level of civic morality was so degraded that he let himself be portrayed again and again having unsheathed, disease ridden penises shoved into his rectum as some sort of erotic ideal? I hope we’re sitting here looking this as a cautionary tale of what happens to someone who centers his life around the lowest kind of hedonism in the puruit of ego gratification. I hope we’re deploring that and all the terrible social ills that people like this bring upon society by being examples to young men who then go and get themselves infected with a virus because it looked so cool when this amoral child got a big dick up his ass.


  • C G, 2010-04-04 14:07:12

    Now, THIS is super rare. With the advancement of HIV antiretrovirals in most western countries, more people who are HIV+ are living longer lives, healthier lives, more valuable lives, and rarely die from AIDS-related illnesses or complications. For a 25 yr old to die of something like that, in today’s world, is super rare and practically unheard of. Although the details of his death haven’t completely been studied, or released to the media/public for that matter, it’s important to consider several things in the death of this kid. A. Was he on antiretroviral medicine? B. Was he taking it regularly and properly? C. Was he looking out for his own health? In other words, was he living a sober life with proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. D. Was he a drug addict/user...which complicated the effectiveness of HIV medication, and can cause a breakdown of the immune system, leaving him incredibly susceptible to infections and illnesses that a healthy HIV+ individual would normally not be susceptible to. E. Did he have a resistant version of the virus? So many questions come to my mind in the death of this kid, and I just hope he’s in a better place now. I don’t judge him for doing what he did, as I am in no place to judge, nor woud I want anyone to judge me. He was an adult, and he could do with his life as he pleased, but a lot of questions come to mind in his death, and I am hoping people don’t get on their high-horse about him, his lifestyle, and the lifestyle of others. http://cristiangonzales.tumblr.com/ http://twitter.com/CristianIsDaMan


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-04 18:45:46

    Ok has anyone done some math here? I’m NEGATIVE but I know TONS about HIV and all the meds. Even someone UN-MEDICATED the virus, in most cases, goes dormant for 7-10 years after initial infection before very HIV specific infections and illnesses show up. This would mean this BB porn actor would likely have been infected between the age of 15-18!! Likely BEFORE his bb porn career started (well hopefully). This sounds more like a story of a very promiscuous teen and/or a teen involved in iv drug use. I agree that bb porn sends the wrong message but some studios are implementing PCR testing which detects HIV prescence with exposure windows as low as 24 hours and NOT relying on ELISA testing and it’s 6 month exposure window.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-04 22:38:41

    ^^^ which means the bareback producers didn’t test him. Everything I hear about them makes them more disgusting.


  • Ryan in Fl, 2010-04-05 03:57:17

    Wow... Not a proud moment for us gays


  • Karl Fischer, 2010-04-06 12:55:45

    I’m amazed at the myths about HIV and Aids. It’s not that rare for someone to get really ill end up in the hospital before they know they are HIV positive. And occasionally the illness has gotten so bad, they die before any meds can help. Please don’t judge, and/or rationalize for yourself or others, barebacking. Would not a discussion about the impact of our culture on human development and adult sexuality be more helpful?


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-07 08:35:26

    Even someone UN-MEDICATED the virus, in most cases, goes dormant for 7-10 years after initial infection before very HIV specific infections and illnesses show up = this is untrue. and dangerous misinformation to spread. i was severely ill only two years after getting infected and living undiagnosed and perfectly healthy. i have never been an intrevenous drug user, was very careful about safe sex, and actually got it from a condom that broke. my boyfriend also got sick and almost died only a few years after he got it. now we’re both on hiv meds, and let me tell you, its not a fun or easy ride. kids, don’t fuck up ur life for a few seconds of pleasure. use a condom.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-10 20:59:55

    Strange how I commented on this days ago with a very pertinent point all without saying anything unprintable and no foul words and the comment never shows up??!!?? No other comments have since the last one. Few new headlines on this site overall. Is this site dead???


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-13 14:46:56

    Ok for the record - I knew Chad personally and he did NOT die from HIV/Aids - he was positive but that was NOT the cause of his death...he did do porn yes - early on but had been out of the business for years; his HIV status came later after his porn days were done....the media is making this all about the BB porn industry - and yes granted that is another whole topic altogether - it had nothing to do with Chad’s death. He lived his life to the extreme and was afraid of growing old. Chad is somewhere smiling right now that his last image is the one you see above; I knew the real Chad and am grateful he was in my life.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-14 19:09:11

    I also knew Chad, and the above post from 04-13-2010 is correct. Chad’s last video was made over 4 years ago and, just for the record, a condom WAS worn in the scene featuring Chad ("Twink Bedroom Adventures," for those of you fact-checker types out there). Chad did not return to videos, in part due to the fact that soon after the last shoot, he had an accident and broke his back. The resulting surgery left him with a very large scar (about which he was sufficiently self-conscious to stop working in videos) and it also left him with residual pain issues. He had returned to school to become a hair stylist, and I had really hoped that would work out for him, but it did not. Yes, he made some bad choices, but they were his choices. He also had a lot of things to deal with that were absolutely not of his own making, but he still had to deal with them anyway. He was truly a free spirit and I will miss his warmth, wit, and charm.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-16 22:29:08

    Wow. So for the last two commenters, if he didn’t die of HIV or AIDs...what did he die from? He can’t sue you or even know that you’ve spilled the beans. So if he didn’t die from an infection related to HIV...what did he die from?


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-17 15:33:59

    This article blames bareback porn which is stupid. This guy made a decision to be in bareback porn and to escort. I think is also obvious that he was not getting medical care for his HIV because it is rare to die at the young age he did from HIV without it being an illness that slowly leads to ones passing, usually in a hospice or hospital not at home alone.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-18 15:47:45

    I posted the requested answer (i.e., drug overdose), but that seems to have been deleted. Well, here we go again: drug overdose.


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-21 15:25:42

    Everyone blames something,,, not the someone who does the actual act... Like blaming Ozzy Osborne or Marilyn Manson if a listener commits suicide, it apparently is never the "fault" of the person doing the deed. I’m not saying that bareback porn is not a factor in how people conduct themselves. But don’t assume that why this person self destructed has really anything to do with Porn. We don’t have the facts, do we? So we quickly reach for that old standard of finding something to blame other than understand what actually happened. It becomes really a political statement. And note comments like "disease ridden penis" or "proof that bareback porn is murder". The first comment, is stigma related and I bitterly resent that association. I’m poz, and refuse to be characterized that way. The person who made that statement is being an asshole... As to the comment that this is further proof that BB porn is murder. Why don’t you just say, human sexuality is murder? Or recognize that there are hundreds of ways we die everyday, some of it self inflicted, some of it by others and some of it by disease. Perspective folks... How many people a year die of the flu, but we aren’t throwing people under the bus who "spread" that often fatal disease. Just because its sex, its sensational. Assuming that the kid died of drugs... again... what are the facts? Making any statement is just speculation. Don’t assume anything. We simply don’t know why the person died. Or if they didn’t have treatment. Or had emotional problems, or anything! Lastly, prevention efforts have to take a different tack. One that recognizes the reality of the situation, what our sexuality drives us to do and what the facts are of HIV infection and prevention. The old AIDS = DEATH slogan is antiquated and doesn’t work. Like Torture doesn’t work on terrorists. All this slogan making doesn’t do one bit to stop an infection. Only through education and understanding is the answer. NOT FEAR MONGERING. Folks do know that HIV for many can be managed to a degree. So the choice to bareback may be simple acceptance of the risk and the probability of ones sexual preferences that may lead to that outcome. That is what the real issue is. If your going to reach people, one has to take time to understand our sexuality and what it means and to be able to explain the current issues associated with HIV infection. And the resulting stigma associated with HIV infection propogated by idiots makes for so much angst for those who do convert. Where is the compassion for POZ folk? Time to THINK!


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-21 15:29:25

    Everyone blames something,,, not the someone who does the actual act... Like blaming Ozzy Osborne or Marilyn Manson if a listener commits suicide, it apparently is never the "fault" of the person doing the deed. I’m not saying that bareback porn is not a factor in how people conduct themselves. But don’t assume that why this person self destructed has really anything to do with Porn. We don’t have the facts, do we? So we quickly reach for that old standard of finding something to blame other than understand what actually happened. It becomes really a political statement. And note comments like "disease ridden penis" or "proof that bareback porn is murder". The first comment, is stigma related and I bitterly resent that association. I’m poz, and refuse to be characterized that way. The person who made that statement is being an asshole... As to the comment that this is further proof that BB porn is murder. Why don’t you just say, human sexuality is murder? Or recognize that there are hundreds of ways we die everyday, some of it self inflicted, some of it by others and some of it by disease. Perspective folks... How many people a year die of the flu, but we aren’t throwing people under the bus who "spread" that often fatal disease. Just because its sex, its sensational. Assuming that the kid died of drugs... again... what are the facts? Making any statement is just speculation. Don’t assume anything. We simply don’t know why the person died. Or if they didn’t have treatment. Or had emotional problems, or anything! Lastly, prevention efforts have to take a different tack. One that recognizes the reality of the situation, what our sexuality drives us to do and what the facts are of HIV infection and prevention. The old AIDS = DEATH slogan is antiquated and doesn’t work. Like Torture doesn’t work on terrorists. All this slogan making doesn’t do one bit to stop an infection. Only through education and understanding is the answer. NOT FEAR MONGERING. Folks do know that HIV for many can be managed to a degree. So the choice to bareback may be simple acceptance of the risk and the probability of ones sexual preferences that may lead to that outcome. That is what the real issue is. If your going to reach people, one has to take time to understand our sexuality and what it means and to be able to explain the current issues associated with HIV infection. And the resulting stigma associated with HIV infection propogated by idiots makes for so much angst for those who do convert. Where is the compassion for POZ folk? Time to THINK!


  • Anonymous, 2010-04-23 11:25:23

    i personally think that people who actually knew chad should write a blog that clears up the story. i have seen a few blogs that state that this kid died from HIV complications when that clearly is not true. a few people have posted comments on these said blogs saying that they were close friends of his and that the actual cause of death was a drug overdose... and that he didn’t even get HIV until after his porn days, which would imply that it happened within the past 4 years. people should get their facts straight before posting all over the internet.


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-25 18:35:52

    Sex is overated and causes much heart ache as well as heavy drug use too.I don`t mean to mess with anyones livelyhood but I wouldnt miss it if porn or drugs were to fall off the face of the earth except weed.Some comments mentioned free spirit.Nothing negitive we do to ourselves or others is ever free.It just seems like that when there is knowone around to kick our asses.There are Laws higher than mans Law and a price.For the wages of sin is death.But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.Everyone screws up and one day will pay or you will let Christ pay for you is the meaning of all that you see?


  • Anonymous, 2012-06-20 09:11:33

    Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it’s the truth. Chad Noel’s death had nothing to do with his HIV+, which was actually well controlled. He died of a drug overdose. So perhaps all the righteous ire should be directed not at whether people are wearing condoms or not, but at drug misuse, which makes for a less tittilating story but ultimately kills far more people and wrecks far more lives than HIV. Safe sex may well be a good cause to promote but falsifying then hijacking the tragedy of young man’s death to bang a drum is profoundly disrespectful.


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-20 19:25:31

    This entire article makes a one-dimensional problem out of a constellation issue. For one thing, every single account of Chad Noel’s life depicts a very troubled, very self-destructive young person who was in and out of rehab for drug addiction, who worked as an escort and who also happened to do bareback porn; all of the behaviors started when he was a teen living in a backwater town. Most of us who came-out at an early age or who are active in the gay community know these kids, they’re everywhere. Acting in bareback porn is the least of their issues... doing meth in the bath house and having unprotected sex with 20 people in a single night is much worse. Porn is a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket of a pervasive instant gratification problem in gay culture -- the number of guys bareacking on GRINDR, craigslist, the bath houses... it’s staggering. Even at the height of the AIDS crisis and when people were more focused on safety, barebacking was happening everywhere. I remember vividly, I was there. The single biggest problem we face as gay men when it comes to health and safety is that we still come of age in a society that hates us and with families who shame us. Bareback porn is a total red herring -- self-loathing is the problem, and until every 12 year old gay boy can dream about his first kiss without guilt then we’re all going to keep self-destructing.


  • C G, 2012-08-20 22:20:41

    Good additional feedback "anonymous", but plenty of heterosexual people end up going down very unhealthy paths in their life, and they don’t have the stigma of homosexuality. Additionally, they also have plenty of anonymous sex, and it doesn’t mean they have self-esteem issues by doing it. The issue is a complicated one, but ultimately, Chad didn’t make the best decisions in his life, for his health or emotional well being. And unfortunately, his path became a very difficult and tragic one. But to generalize all gay men with having self-esteem issues due to certain outlets and societal issues is simplifying the problem too much. My two cents anyway.


  • Anonymous, 2013-10-18 12:50:34

    ALL these posting are BULLSHIT, if you only knew how many Quote safe Porn stars Fuck RAW, you would close your mouth. I have fucked so many I only fuck safe porn stars in NYC Bare.


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