Security fears halt ex-porn star's visit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am

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Security concerns have forced a Chinese sexologist to drop his plan to bring a former Japanese porn star, who is also an anti-Aids activist, to speak to his class of about 300 students.

Peng Xiaohui, a 54-year-old professor at Wuhan-based Central China Normal University who is also the deputy secretary general of the World Association of Chinese Sexologists, had planned for Hotaru Akane to be a guest speaker at his Introduction to Sexology class tomorrow. Akane, 29, retired from the adult film industry in 2008 and now serves as an Aids-prevention ambassador for the Taiwan-based Red Ribbon Foundation, which promotes public awareness of HIV/Aids.

Word of her planned visit triggered a flurry of interest online.Thousands of students from the university and other universities in the city said they would stand in line in the early hours tomorrow to secure a seat in the lecture hall for the 8am appearance.

'I bet it will be the biggest class in the university's 109-year history,' one student said online.

But Peng, who has conducted sexology research for 20 years, said such an unexpected and huge crowd had led him to cancel his plan due to security concerns.

Akane's agent contacted Peng online via microblog about six months ago, 'asking whether we could work together to promote Aids awareness on the mainland', Peng said yesterday.

'I thought it was a good idea,' he said, noting Akane's star power. 'If she could share her Aids knowledge with the public, it would greatly promote their awareness of HIV/Aids.

'That's the reason I invited her to the university.'

As the online debate intensified, Peng said the public should respect Akane for her efforts as an anti-Aids ambassador rather than referring to her as a porn star, which had been the focus of most online posts about her planned appearance. One internet user going by the name Basiteng said in a chat room on the 163.com portal yesterday: 'I don't understand why an adult movie star is needed to teach Chinese university students about sex.'

The user added that most people were probably interested only in her looks. But another web user said: 'Hotaru Akane is now an anti-Aids activist. What's wrong with an anti-Aids activist sharing Aids knowledge with young Chinese people? It's unfair to judge her current career by her past experiences.'

Akane visited Shanghai in December 2010 to promote HIV prevention, handing out condoms to passers-by as part of the Light for Rights campaign, which focuses on HIV and human rights.