Bill Amerson - HIV Testing Pioneer

HIV Testing Pioneer

In November 1982, after Holmes was released from the LA County Jail (after having been fully acquitted of the 1981 quadruple murder of the Wonderland Gang), Amerson and Holmes formed a business called Penguin Productions, which was involved in adult film production. Of concern to the new proprietors was the growing threat of AIDS.

In 1985, Amerson was the first name-brand hard core producer who demanded that actors be tested for HIV. And to back up his talk, both he and Holmes were tested and came out negative. But a follow-up test over six months later showed that Holmes was infected and from that point on it was all downhill.

Upon Holmes' death in March 1988, Amerson felt that he no longer wanted to be in the business given the loss of his dear friend and the godfather to his son (Sean Amerson) and daughter (Denise Amerson). In a 1987 interview, before Holmes' death but before Holmes' AIDS was public knowledge, Amerson complained "that the porn trade is "no longer fun," in large part because of the AIDS crisis. Despite accumulating a fortune of several million dollars" .

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