Gay porn producer Michael Lucas has defended his decision to produce bareback porn and says that he does not use condoms with his boyfriend who is HIV positive.

In an exclusive interview with Queerty, Lucas said: “For many years, as you know, I was vocally opposed to bareback sex in videos, because I felt that it was putting the models in danger. But times have changed. HIV treatments can now reduce viral loads to the point where, as far as we can tell, they pose little to no risk of transmission. Combine that with PrEP treatments for HIV negative people, and we’re talking about a much, much lower danger than was previously the case.

“My position on bareback sex in porn has adapted accordingly. And not just in porn: I have changed the way I have sex in my personal life, too. I am HIV negative, but I have recently been seeing someone who is HIV positive, and we have sex without condoms. So I feel fine, now, with asking my models to do the same.”

Defending his bareback U-turn, Lucas said: “The industry has changed. Condomless scenes are far more popular with consumers than scenes with condoms, and most companies (now including mine) have adjusted to this reality. I can’t talk about the financial state of other porn studios, but I know that several have gone out of business in recent years or have been taken over by large corporations.

“If the industry had stayed united behind condom use, then that would be one thing, but it didn’t. And that means that companies that produce only porn with condoms are putting themselves at a very real disadvantage. In the end, this is a business, and we can’t afford to ignore what consumers want from porn these days. I held out for condoms for as long as I could, but with the arrival of PrEP and the new information about undetectable viral loads, the principle behind holding out was not as compelling as it used to be.”

Lucas added: “I personally think that condom-free porn is hotter, yes. Yes, you can make hot porn with condoms, and we have made a lot of it. But porn is a fantasy, and no one fantasizes about condoms.”

Writing in FS magazine, campaigner Kristian Johns, who is HIV positive, questioned whether HIV positive gay men should stop using condoms with partners even if their viral load is undetectable.

Johns said research reinforcing the link between antiretroviral therapy and reduced risk of onward transmission was encouraging, but did not amount to “zero risk of transmitting HIV”.

He wrote: “Well, the preliminary results from the PARTNER study are in and it’s encouraging news: no HIV transmission has occurred when one partner is HIV negative and the other positive, but undetectable.

“Cue a swathe of gay men chucking out their condoms and fucking the night away bareback in celebration. I mean, the definitive findings of the study itself won’t be published in full until 2017, three years from now, but hey, let’s face it, nobody gives a fuck about that. No transmissions! In two years! That’s pretty much a written invitation to ditch the rubbers and get out there, right?”

He continued: “Lads, lads, lads. Let’s just rein in our penises and hold fire on the condom-burning for a cotton-picking second. No transmissions doesn’t mean there’s a zero risk of transmitting HIV, it just means there were no transmissions. Granted, it’s encouraging, but only as encouraging as playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun and getting away with your head intact after multiple tries. There’s still a bullet in the gun, my friends.”