AHF Asks “How Many More?” on Latest Porn HIV Infection

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Two weeks after Assembly Bill 1576, Isadore Hall’s bill to require condoms in all adult films made in California, failed to get out of the Senate Appropriations Committee—effectively killing the bill this year—another industry-related HIV infection in a performer has prompted a filming moratorium in the industry.

AHF says it’s time for Cal/OSHA to act on updating its Bloodborne Pathogens statutes on condom use.

LOS ANGELES (August 28, 2014) Two weeks after California Assembly Bill 1576, Assemblymember Isadore Hall’s bill to require condoms in all adult films made in California, failed to get out of the Senate Appropriations Committee—effectively killing the bill for this year—another adult film industry-related HIV infection has been identified in a performer working in the industry, which prompted the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry trade group, to institute a moratorium on filming in the industry. Industry blogger Mike South first reported the possible HIV case in a performer and moratorium in a post earlier today. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the primary sponsor of Hall’s stalled bill, vowed to carry on in its push for worker safety in the adult film industry, stating it will reintroduce the bill next year.

“It is almost one year to the date since Cameron Bay, another adult film performer—also working for Kink—sero-converted and became HIV positive while working in the industry. Two weeks ago, a statewide bill that would have strengthened and improved workplace safety for adult film performers like Cameron, Rod Daily, Derek Burts, Darren James and other individuals infected while working in the industry—including this latest individual—died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. To the adult film industry and to Cal/OSHA, we ask: how many more infections will it take before the industry will follow the law on condom use and that regulators like Cal/OSHA will act on updating its existing Bloodborne Pathogens regulations on these sets?” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “For years, the porn industry has simply chosen to ignore these laws, with few, if any, repercussions. We vowed two weeks ago that would work with legislators to reintroduce similar legislation again next year and are proud of the fact that we moved this legislation farther along in this session than any previous year.

At the same time AB 1576 was working its way through the legislative process in Sacramento this year, Cal/OSHA (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health), the state’s workplace health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, has been overhauling and expanding the portion of the Bloodborne Pathogens regulations covering the adult film industry. When enacted later this fall, these updated OSHA regulations could, in fact, make the need for a bill like AB 1576 moot.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the sponsor of Hall’s legislation, successfully spearheaded Ballot Measure B, the ‘County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,’—more informally known as the ‘condoms in porn’ measure, which Los Angeles County voters approved by a 57% to 43% margin in the November 2012 election. Measure B requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement and follow all health and safety laws, including condom use by performers. AB 1576 will expand upon the workplace protections now required in Los Angeles County to protect all adult film actors throughout the state of California.

“There is no proof that any of these HIV infections over the past decade have not occurred on set other that the porn industry’s word, with the general public and health officials relying on the industry’s own self-reporting,” added Weinstein.

Hall’s legislation would have provided statewide uniformity needed to ensure that the thousands of actors employed in this multi-billion dollar industry are given reasonable workplace safety protections needed to reduce exposure to HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

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