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 AIDS and condoms in the US porn industry
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17th June
2009
  

Updated: Protecting Performers...


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AVN analyses the claims of recent AIDS cases amongst US adult performers

OUTBREAK! 16 ADULT FILM STARS TEST POSITIVE FOR HAVING HIV! screamed the headline on MediaTakeOut.com — and its lead paragraph wasn't much better, claiming that, According to Los Angeles officials, 16 adult film performers have "recently" tested HIV positive

But unless you're speaking in geological terms, most people don't define "recently" as five years ago, and four of the cases included in that 16 are Darren James and the women he infected, Lara Roxx, Merisa Arroyo and Jessica Dee.

But scare headlines are what sell newspapers and move websites up in the Alexa ratings  when what's called for is objective, factual reporting.

So here are a few of the obvious factual errors and misleading statements contained in the recent news stories:

In all, 16 men and 5 women who worked as adult film industry performers contracted HIV between 2004 and 2008 : As the L.A. Times notes, that number, which it says came from the County Department of Health includes both the cluster around Darren James, one transsexual performer who contracted the infection at roughly that same time ... and 10 ... cases involv[ing] men who had sex with other men.

But that "detail" simply raises more questions. It's well known that some men have sex with other men, including both gay and straight male porn stars, but the difference between them is that gay porn stars generally don't get tested for HIV on a regular basis, while the males in hetero movies do. And sadly, that lack of testing combined with the subgenre of "bareback" productions is a volatile combination.

So: Subtracting the four Darren James-related cases in 2004, the one transsexual case from that time, the 10 cases of men who had sex with other men, which may be related to the gay bareback industry — that too awaits confirmation — and the one case discovered last week, that leaves a total of seven cases possibly unaccounted for over that five-year period.

AVN's investigation continues, but it couldn't hurt for the mainstream press, and the adult industry at large, to heed Mitchell's admonition that, Rumor is rampant when the words 'HIV' and 'porn' are in the same sentence; the media is like a moth to a flame. We are finding that many clients, patients and companies are tempted to discuss this delicate matter with the world for whatever personal or professional gain. Fact is, that we are still awaiting final confirmation on the Patient Zero.

Call for Mandatory Condoms in Porn Production

Based on article from aidshealth.org

 AIDS Healthcare Foundation logo After the Los Angeles Times reported that as many as 16 actors and actresses in the adult entertainment industry recently tested positive for HIV, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a press conference, protest and rally Monday, June 15th at 9:00pm at porn impresario Larry Flynt's Hustler/Hollywood Store on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood (8920 Sunset Blvd.) to call for the introduction of landmark California legislation that would require the use of condoms by actors performing in porn videos produced by California's multi-billion dollar adult entertainment industry—a mainstay of the San Fernando Valley economy.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, which operates the largest community-based alternative HIV testing program in California conducting more than 14,000 free HIV tests annually, believes the State of California should mandate the use condoms by actors performing in films produced by the California industry. AHF further believes a condoms in porn bill should be drafted as a worker safety provision of California's Labor Code akin to how the Labor Code currently requires the use of hard hats and other garments and barriers as safely precautions on certain California work sites and locations.

Update: Reported cases are not currently active performers

17th June 2009. See article from pe.com

LA County public health officials backtracked on the number of previously unpublicized HIV cases in adult film performers Tuesday, saying they don't know if those who tested positive were actively working in the industry at the time. Officials also corrected the number of new cases adjusting the figure upward from 16 to 18.

On Tuesday, the department told the Times it does not know if any of the people who tested positive were actively performing in the adult film industry. County public health officials said they mislabeled all reports from the clinic as adult performers, when they had no information about their occupations.

The Adult Industry Medical Foundation, the San Fernando Valley clinic that serves the porn industry, said none of the people were actively performing when they were tested. Clinic co-founder Sharon Mitchell said each case involved either a non-performer or an aspiring actor or actress who tested positive, then dropped out of the business.

The female actress who tested positive for HIV at their clinic earlier this month remains the only case detected in a working performer since 2004, Mitchell said.

 

18th December
2009
  

Update: Protected Industry...


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California State considers mandatory condoms for porn films

condomsCalifornia State regulators have agreed to consider a request from an AIDS advocacy group calling for mandatory use of condoms in porn films.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation submitted the request Thursday at a meeting of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

The advocacy group wants current rules requiring healthcare workers to wear gear that prevents the spread of disease to extend to adult film sets.

The Cal/OSHA board has 60 days to evaluate the petition and issue a response.

 

23rd December
2009
  

Update: Unprotected Industry...


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Judge rejects petition to mandate condom usage in adult films

condomsA Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed a petition seeking a court order to compel county public health officials to require condom use on porn sets or take other reasonable steps to stem the spread of disease.

The petition, filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, contended that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has passively observed an ever-growing epidemic within the porn industry.

Words alone cannot fight disease, the petition said. For over a decade, county health officials have talked, watched, written and analyzed. What county health officials have not done is act.

Judge David P. Yaffe rejected the petition, noting that the county has broad discretion in how it oversees public health.

The AIDS advocacy group sued the county in July. The action came weeks after an adult-film actress tested positive for HIV and county health officials released data that showed 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis had been reported since 2004 by a San Fernando Valley-based clinic that mainly serves the porn industry. Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation officials said at the time that the majority of the cases did not involve working adult film performers.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials plan to appeal the decision and said they would press for change. We just hope the county will do the right thing without being compelled to do it by a court, foundation President Michael Weinstein said. This is going to be a years-long battle and it's going to have its ups and downs, but we know in the end that public health is going to win.

 

1st April
2011
  

Update: Hustled by Nutters...

Hustler Video fined for failing to provide protective equipment, ie condoms, to porn performers

hustler video logoThe California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) has fined Hustler Video $14,175 for failing to use condoms in its productions.

According to the citation issued to Hustler Video and obtained by AVN, Cal-OSHA cites three violations, in which the video production company failed to provide condoms or other protective equipment for performers. Additionally the company was cited for failure to provide an injury and illness prevention program, and for failing to provide protection against other potentially infectious materials. Hustler was fined $4,725 for each violation.

Also cited was Mark Zane's Forsaken Pictures, which was fined $12,150 for three violations. According to the complaint, it appears that Forsaken's fines were in connection to producing an adult movie for Hustler Video.

The inspection of the Hustler Video was prompted by a complaint from anti porn nutters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). And of course nutters are never satisified. AHF president Michael Weinstein said:

Something is better than nothing, but I don't know how long it takes Larry Flynt to make $14,000, Weinstein commented. I suspect it's not very long, so we would want to see something sterner. We would like to see an order prohibiting use that shuts down Hustler productions, and of course, we want to see the city revoke the permits and we want to see the LA County Department of Health also step in and declare it a public health nuisance, but every little bit helps. It's now established that it's against the law in California to produce [adult movies] without condoms and we're looking forward to actions by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board this year on regulations specific to the industry. We will continue to lobby the city and the county to be more aggressive as well.

Hustler has a right to appeal.

 

15th June
2011
  

Update: A Barrier to Good Porn...

California's adult industry discuss a proposal for mandatory condom usage in adult film making

condomIn a heated and contentious advisory panel meeting, nearly 70 porn performers came out in force to voice their concerns and give input on a Cal/OSHA draft proposal containing modifications to California's health code to extend adult industry workplace safety regulations.

The purpose of the meeting was to gather comments from industry stakeholders to crystalize specific areas of proposed regulations in the draft. Several items were on the agenda including discussing definitions, control measures, alternative measures, medical services and record keeping.

The draft described adult entertainment as the production of any film, video, multimedia or other recorded or live presentation in which performers actually engage in any activity that may result in exposure of the eyes, skin, mouth, anus, vagina or other mucous membranes to the blood or other potentially infectious materials -- sexually transmitted infections (OPIM-STI). Many took issue with this description saying this was too broad of a definition.

The meeting then moved on to barrier protection, described as a condom or other physical block that prevents the passage of blood and OPIM-STI to another person. A female performer said that if condoms are enforced, that every legitimate studio will be affected and productions will either go underground or leave the state.

Dan O'Connell, president of Girlfriends Films, said enforcing condoms especially for girl/girl scenes would be problematic: If we provide barrier protection, it'll be the end of the industry here in California, he said. Fans of girl/girl who are into the oral part will not put up with barrier protection.

Another topic that was hotly debated was permitting alternate measures to control risks of oral sex.

At the end of the meeting, Deborah Gold, Cal/OSHA’s senior safety engineer reminded everyone that current standards still apply to adult, which means the use of condoms as a form of barrier protection.

 

4th January
2013

 Update: Los Angeles' Loss Could be the UK's Gain...

US porn producers consider relocating to the UK

U british sex  fest S porn producers, writers and performers are set to increase production in Britain due to a crisis in Los Angeles where councillors ruled that all porn stars must wear condoms in sex scenes.

Studios are worried that the sight of condoms in adult films will dramatically hit the fantasy appeal of the material. The move has prompted porn chiefs and mainstream stars to threaten to relocate to the UK and elsewhere. A source in Los Angeles revealed:

Talent is leaving town as they are worried that this could be the end of the porn business. Britain and other territories have great porn set ups ready to go, and the cash to offer talent good wages. They will benefit from this and will see bigger demand for their product. And there are no rules on condoms in the UK. At the moment Britain has high production values, but focuses more on small web stories.

Diane Duke, chief executive of the Free Speech Coalition, the trade association for the US porn industry, said:

The government can't compel an industry to create a product for which there is no demand. And that's what would be happening here in Los Angeles, and it just doesn't make sense.

 

15th February
2013

 Update: A call for full body hazardous materials suits for porn perfomers...

Anti porn campaigners seek to extend LA's condom ban to the whole state of California

California state seal The Anti-porn campaigners of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have announced that Assemblymember Isadore Hall III hasintroduced Assembly Bill (AB) 332, which would change the California's Labor Code to require that adult movie actors use engineering and work practice controls when performing sexual acts in adult movies.

Specifically, the bill would create a new Section:

An employer shall maintain engineering and work practice controls sufficient to protect employees from exposure to blood and any potentially infectious materials. Engineering and work practice controls shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

Provision of and required use of condoms and other protective barriers whenever acts of vaginal or anal intercourse are filmed.

Also under the definitions section of the bill, the diseases which the protective barriers are to be effective against include not only HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, [and] hepatitis, but also genital human papillomavirus infection, and genital herpes, both of which can be transmitted by any bare-skin contact between an infected person and a non-infected person. Hence, it would appear that the only way to prevent transmission of all of the listed diseases would be for performers to attempt to have sex while wearing full-body hazardous material ( hazmat ) suits.

 

16th October
2013

 Offsite Article: Hazardous Waste...

cal-osha-logoCalifornia elf n safety thankfully decide that full bio-hazard body suits are not required to protect porn performers from HIV

See article from business.avn.com

 

25th January
2014

 Update: Rubbing Out the Rubbers...

Porn production company uses digital effects to erase the condoms

falcon studios logo Porn production is struggling in California. Since the passage of Measure B in 2012, which strictly imposes the use of condoms on all porn sets in Los Angeles, adult movie production has largely begun to move out of the San Fernando Valley. However, gay porn company Falcon Studios is now attempting to hearken back to the days before the measure was passed. In their latest release California Dreamin' 1 , the studio filmed all its scenes with condoms but managed to digitally remove the prophylactics in post-production.

Director Tony DiMarco stated on the Falcon Studio blog that the film is meant to tap into fantasies of bareback sex in the 1970s and 80s, while also aligning with the safe sex ethos that is currently being enforced in LA:

With this movie I really wanted to capture the essence of that time, when life seemed more carefree and spontaneous. In keeping with this concept, I felt that condoms need to be addressed. The decision to go with this technique appears to strike a middle ground between Measure B and the porn industry's belief that scenes without condoms are a better sell with consumers.

Nevertheless, while Falcon Studios seems committed to their new style of filming, it's unclear if it will catch on. The company doesn't make clear how expensive it is to painstakingly remove condoms during sex scenes.

 

10th January
2015

 Update: Safety State...

Nevada considers mandating condoms for porn performers citing the success of condom requirements in keeping the state's legal brothels, HIV free
Nevada state seal Nevada health officials have announced that they are considering applying the same strict regulations required of sex workers in brothels in Nevada to the adult film industry. Since 1988, when the State Health Department first mandated condom use for all prostitutes in all brothels, there have been no reported HIV infections tied to Nevada brothels. Nevada is the only jurisdiction in the United States where prostitution is legally allowed.

In the twenty-seven years that Nevada has required condom use in its brothels, there has not been a single case of HIV transmission found in, or tied to Nevada brothels, said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

According to the L.A. Daily News, Nevada's health regulations on licensed brothels require 'each patron to wear and use a latex prophylactic while engaging in sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact or any touching of the sexual organs or other intimate parts of a person.

 

26th May
2015

 Update: Health and Safety act out their sexual desires...

Los Angeles porn makers unimpressed by extreme rules
porn making After five years of public hearings and heated debates, a proposed set of health and safety standards for all California porn production sets is edging closer to being finalized, but adult film performers say if passed, the new regulations would make sex scenes look like medical dramas.

The 21-page draft, proposed by the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, blends thick regulatory definitions with graphic language as it outlines how adult film performers and others on set can protect themselves from bloodborne pathogens and other bodily fluids. It underscores the use of condoms as a way to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

During a hearing and public comment period, adult film performers and their supporters said the regulations which include wearing protective eye gear go too far. Diane Duke, CEO of the Free Speech Coalition, said:

These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set, or even a Hollywood film set,

Duke said her organization and several other groups would prefer to see the proposed regulation amended with input from both performers and public health officials, in ways that protect adult film performers without stigmatizing and shutting down an entire industry.

 

31st October
2015

 Update: Banning porn production in California...

Extreme health and safety rules will require diving suits for porn performers in California
protective suit for  porn performers The Free Speech Coalition announced it will fight newly revised Cal/OSHA (California health and safety) regulations which would mandate goggles, condoms, dental dams, gloves and other skin guards for adult performers.

The revised regulations, which were released in mid-October, ignored extensive opposition by performers, producers, and health experts, and will now go to a full vote by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. The regulations would take effect likely during the second quarter of 2016.

Opponents of the regulations, including the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), have until November 3 to file a formal response; however, Cal/OSHA has expressed that many of the most controversial items, including condoms, eye and skin guards, and dental dams, are no longer up for debate. The regulations are expected to pass when the Cal/OSHA Board votes early next year.

Diane Duke, CEO of the Free Speech Coalition said:

This isn't regulation; this is a complete shut down adult production, stated. Asking adult performers to wear goggles is up there with asking ballerinas to wear boots. It does not only not match the threat, and it effectively prohibits production in California.

 

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