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Mandatory use of condoms in porn filming to be taken up by state panel

June 29, 2010 | 10:35 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a64b9aa1970b-320wi

A state advisory panel exploring whether condoms should be mandatory in adult film production will meet Tuesday to discuss whether changes should be made to worker safety laws.

The hearing is the latest in a campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other advocacy groups to require condoms in porn filming -- an effort that has been underway since a 2004 HIV outbreak led to a one-month shutdown in the industry. In 2009, the groups renewed their campaign after an actress tested positive for HIV and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health disclosed that 22 adult film workers had tested positive at the San Fernando Valley-based Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation since 2004.

"It comes down to an issue of whether the testing is sufficient protection," said Michael Weinstein, president and chief executive of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "There's no argument being made that condoms aren't better."

The industry has long argued that it has built-in safeguards to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS: actors must take mandatory monthly HIV tests before they are cleared for filming. Requiring condoms, they believe, would force the industry underground or out of state.

In March, state regulators with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health's standards board unanimously voted to create an advisory committee to consider increasing regulation of California's porn industry. The board can adopt changes to the law without legislative approval.

The American Medical Assn. also weighed in at its annual meeting earlier this month, voting to support legislation to require porn actors to use condoms on-screen.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Credit: Los Angeles Times

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