Jackie Braxton, a 23-year-old adult performer from Detroit who posted an online video claiming she infected more than 500 people with HIV, now says she made the whole thing up to raise AIDS awareness.
"I made the tape because I wanted to raise awareness about AIDS," she told the Detroit News.
On the video, Braxton, whose stage name is "Fame," said she contracted HIV in 1998 and has been "pretty upset" about having to "suffer." She also said she has set out to "destroy the world" because a cure for the virus that causes AIDS has not been found.
Although she wore a bandanna over her face to hide her identity, police said they were still able to track her down. Police said the woman voluntarily submitted to an HIV test, which came back negative.
No charges have been filed against the woman, police spokesman John Roach said Friday.
"We don't see anything at this point under state law that would allow us to press charges, but we are researching," he said.
The gossip Web site mediatakeout.com was the first to report on the HIV hoax earlier and posted the 11-minute video of the woman on its site and on YouTube. The Detroit News and other local media outlets then picked up on the story.
Mediatakeout.com received the video via e-mail earlier this week, editor Fred Mwangaguhunga told the AP Friday.
"We looked at it, talked about it, and whether or not we thought it was a hoax and whether we should put it out," he said. "She was alleging a possible public health crisis. The hope was we would be able to find out more information on the woman. We uploaded it onto YouTube, and that's when we ran the story."
Mediatakeout.com also contacted Detroit police about the video.
Michael McElrath, a spokesman for the city's health department, said it appeared one positive did come from the hoax: The number of walk-ins for HIV testing more than doubled in Detroit on Friday. Because all information is confidential, people seeking testing were not required to say why.
According to the Daily Mail, Braxton makes amateur porn videos with her husband and has a 5-year-old child.