Adult-film industry and health officials meet
June 08 2004 12:00 AM ET
Los Angeles County health officials met with adult-film industry leaders for four hours on Friday to discuss possible regulations to help prevent transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases on the sets of adult films, the Los Angeles Times reports. The meeting came after five heterosexual adult film performers tested positive for HIV infection in April and May, four cases of which were linked to a male performer infected with the virus while on a porn shoot in Brazil. Adult-film industry officials say no other HIV infections have been detected and that the HIV outbreak has been contained.
The Friday hearing of the California assembly labor and employment committee included a recommendation from Los Angeles County Department of Health Services public health director Jonathan Fielding that the legislation require condom usage in all adult films as well as hepatitis B vaccinations and routine HIV and STD testing for all porn performers. "Just as we would not allow a construction worker to be on a job site without a hard hat, we should not allow adult-film workers to work without condoms," Fielding said. Peter Kerndt, director of the county health department's STD program, also said condom usage should be required. But porn industry officials say increased regulations would drive the adult-film industry out of California. Adult-film actress Nina Hartley said a mandatory condom policy would be "unenforceable" and that performers who wished to practice only safer sex on-screen could turn down films in which condoms aren't used.
Assemblyman Paul Koretz, who scheduled the hearing, plans to use testimony from the meeting to propose regulations for the industry. A previous bill that would have required adult-film stars to be tested for HIV and wear condoms while having sex was set aside for further study. It was unclear whether the recommendations by public health officials would apply to gay adult films as well as straight films. However, sources tell Advocate.com that the recent HIV outbreak in the porn industry did not affect gay adult films since most gay-porn companies already require actors to wear condoms for anal sex.