LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The State of California and Los Angeles County should mandate the use of condoms on all adult film sets or shut down the industry in the interest of public health, an AIDS treatment and advocacy program said Thursday.
At its second press conference about the matter in less than a week, AIDS Healthcare Foundation accused the Los Angeles County Health Department of being “afraid of the [adult] industry.” Michael Weinstein, president of the Los Angeles-based organization that claims to provide medical care and advocacy to more than 100,000 people in 22 countries, also said county health officials “have been asleep at the switch with regard to monitoring HIV and STD prevention and testing in the region’s porn industry.”
Weinstein’s remarks came almost two weeks after a female adult industry performer tested positive for HIV but reportedly worked in an explicit production without a current “clean” certificate from Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, the porn industry’s primary health-testing resource. It is unclear why the woman was allowed to work outside accepted industry practices that require a health certificate issued within 30 days of filming. The standard is voluntary.
“The industry wraps itself in the First Amendment,” Weinstein told reporters Thursday. “It has much too much power in the halls of Sacramento and the county defends them, or [county health officials] just don’t want to take responsibility.”
Weinstein said AHF wants the health department to issue an immediate requirement that all adult performers wear condoms when engaging in sexual activity on camera.
“Under the auspices of California Code that is enacted into law and already on the books, we are calling on county health officials to immediately institute a requirement for condom usage in the production of adult films — something already far more widespread voluntarily in adult gay films,” Weinstein said. “If not, county health officials should shut down production sets that refuse to comply with the California Code.
The code to which Weinstein referred is California Health and Safety Code Section 120175: Prevention of Spread of Communicable Diseases. The law states, “Each health officer knowing or having reason to believe that any case of the diseases made reportable by regulation of the department, or any other contagious, infectious or communicable disease exists, or has recently existed, within the territory under his or her jurisdiction, shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or the occurrence of additional cases.”
At the previous AHF press conference, hosted Monday in conjunction with a rally outside the Hustler Hollywood store in West Hollywood, CA, AHF declared its intent to push for condoms-required legislation by reminding state lawmakers of the aftermath of a 2004 incident in which a male performer infected several other performers on the set of a production. The incident shut down the adult film industry for about a month, prompted Cal/OSHA fines of $30,560 against two studios and resulted in 185 adult studios receiving a letter in which legislators and health officials warned the industry to adopt mandatory condom usage voluntarily or face legislation.