AHF Goes on the Attack in Florida; Sanitary Nuisance Complaint Filed Against Fantom Video

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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — As part of its ongoing campaign to require the use of condoms in the production of adult films in an effort to reduce the spread of STDs including HIV, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a press teleconference Wednesday, September 4th at 10:30 AM Eastern Time (7:30am Pacific Time) to announce its filing of a new ‘sanitary nuisance’ health complaint with the Florida Department of Health against San Diego Boy Productions (aka Fantom Video) over the lack of use of condoms in its adult film productions shot in Florida.

The Florida complaint comes on the heels of the news that another adult film performer in California has tested positive for HIV—the second adult performer to do so in the past three weeks.

AHF first filed a complaint targeting California-based San Diego Boy Productions (aka Fantom Video) with the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The Division investigated AHF’s complaint, and in response, San Diego Boy Productions indicated that the activities referenced in AHF’s workplace safety complaint were part of adult video material produced for San Diego Boy Productions in Florida, not California.

“In its defense against our Cal/OSHA complaint, San Diego Boy Productions/Fantom Video said that the company responsible for producing the video material in question for it—D&E Productions—was based in Florida, not California, and that as a result, Cal/OSHA had no jurisdiction,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“With that admission, AHF then filed a new Health and Safety Complaint under Florida’s ‘Sanitary Nuisance’ statutes over the adult videos filmed in Florida without condoms—films that clearly demonstrate the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids.”

Three representatives from AHF formally filed the sanitary nuisance complaint with John Armstrong, M.D., FASC, Surgeon General of Florida, in mid-August, asking, “…that the Department investigate the ‘sanitary nuisance’ created by the production of hardcore pornography in Florida without the use of condoms to protect performers from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.”

Unlike California or the federal government, the State of Florida does not have a specifically designated occupational safety and health division. However, there is a “sanitary nuisance” law in the Florida Statutes.

AHF believes that unprotected sex in a commercial setting should, arguably, fall under the definition of a “sanitary nuisance,” since Florida law defines it as “any act” that may cause disease.

386.01 Sanitary nuisance.–A sanitary nuisance is the commission of any act, by an individual, municipality, organization, or corporation, or the keeping, maintaining, propagation, existence, or permission of anything, by an individual, municipality, organization, or corporation, by which the health or life of an individual, or the health or lives of individuals, may be threatened or impaired, or by which or through which, directly or indirectly, disease may be caused.

386.02 Duty of Department of Health.–The Department of Health, upon request of the proper authorities, or of any three responsible resident citizens, or whenever it may seem necessary to the department, shall investigate the sanitary condition of any city, town, or place in the state; and if, upon examination, the department shall ascertain the existence of any sanitary nuisance as herein defined, it shall serve notice upon the proper party or parties to remove or abate the said nuisance or, if necessary, proceed to remove or abate the said nuisance in the manner provided in s. 823.01.

There is also a Miami-Dade County “sanitary nuisance” law as well (Miami-Dade County Municipal Ordinances Chapter 26A). It uses a similar definition of “sanitary nuisance” as the state law, and it provides for the Director of the Dade County Department of Public Health to investigate nuisances.

In February 2010, AHF submitted similar sanitary nuisance complaints to state health officials based on its submission of 10 DVDs of adult films shot in Florida and/or produced by four (4) different adult film production companies in or operating in Florida.

In June, 2010, the Chief Legal Counsel for the Florida Department of Health wrote to AHF that his was in receipt of AHF’s February complaint “…and that my office has begun an investigation into this matter.” AHF subsequently filed additional sanitary nuisance complaints, the status of which remains pending.

In August 2009, AHF broadened its initial advocacy for adult film workplace safety when it first filed complaints against 16 California adult film production companies with Cal/OSHA, California’s workplace health and safety regulatory agency. AHF has subsequently filed numerous additional complaints with Cal/OSHA resulting in a number of investigations opened and ongoing.

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