By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com November 07 2012 6:10 PM ET
Los Angeles County voters Tuesday approved a measure mandating condom use in the making of adult films within the county.
Advocates who proposed the initiative said it is necessary to protect performers from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. It passed with 55.9% of the vote, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“This is a major referendum on the subject of safer sex,” one of the backers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein, told the Times.
Condom use has been common in gay-porn films since the 1980s, but makers of straight porn have been reluctant to require performers to wear condoms, saying it makes the films less appealing to audiences.
Producers also say performers are tested regularly for STIs and that there is a low incidence of such infections. They say there have been no cases of HIV transmission on straight-porn sets in the past several years; when a performer in L.A. was diagnosed with HIV last year, it turned out to be a false positive. But condom advocates such as Weinstein point out that many other diseases can be transmitted sexually.
Weinstein said advocates will be monitoring county health officials to make sure they enforce the new law.