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Porn industry calls for temporary shutdown after reported syphilis cases

August 20, 2012 |  2:41 pm

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A Los Angeles-based trade group that represents adult film companies has called for a nationwide moratorium on production while porn performers are tested for syphilis.

The Free Speech Coalition issued the call on its website after reporting that one performer had tested positive for syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, and that the process of notifying sexual partners had begun.

The moratorium was announced Saturday, a day after Los Angeles County’s Public Health Department said it is investigating a cluster of possible syphilis cases within the porn industry. The agency said it had received reports of at least five cases involving adult performers within a week.

The coalition did not immediately respond to questions from The Times. But on its website, the group said that it was calling for a temporary halt to film shoots while the "entire population” of performers are examined by doctors.

The group did not say how many performers that would involve. “A determination will be made by the doctors on the appropriate time to lift the moratorium as more information is revealed,” the group said.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said Monday that the syphilis cluster shows that adult film companies are incapable of policing themselves. His group said the syphilis incident would be used as part of the campaign for Measure B, a proposal on the Nov. 6 countywide ballot mandating the use of condoms during professional X-rated shoots.

ALSO:

Porn studios weigh fleeing or fighting L.A. condom law

Porn industry syphilis cases in L.A. County under investigation

Enforcing condoms in porn films won't be easy, L.A. supervisors say

-- David Zahniser

twitter/davidzahniser

Photo: AIDS Healthcare Foundation protesters, shown here picketing last year, have been advocating for mandatory condom use during adult film production.  Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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