from www.latimes.com – The state agency overseeing workplace safety has opened an investigation into an adult-film studio over a shoot involving an actress who last week tested positive for HIV.
Cal/OSHA opened the investigation Thursday into San Francisco-based Kink Studios, which runs a network of fetish sites–in response to a complaint filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, agency spokesman Greg Siggins said.
Adult-film production came to a halt after the actress, who works under the screen name Cameron Bay, tested positive for HIV in one of the regular sexually transmitted disease screenings required in the industry.
Industry trade association Free Speech Coalition said Wednesday that all performers who had worked with Bay tested negative and that shooting could resume. The coalition maintained there was no evidence the actress had contracted the infection on set.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which advocates mandatory condom use in the adult entertainment industry, filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA on Monday relating to a Kink shoot that Bay performed in July 31–her last performance prior to the HIV test.
Bay had tested negative four days before that shoot.
The foundation said in its complaint the production involved acts “considered high-risk for the transmission of HIV” and that as the “workplace activities are highly likely to spread bloodborne pathogens in the workplace, the Division may, and should, require KINK.COM to take immediate measures for the protection of employees, including the use of condoms during the production of adult films.”
Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for the foundation, said the group is not necessarily contending that Bay contracted or exposed other people to HIV during the the shoot, but he said, “The activities that were depicted were dangerous, and there was no condom use.”
Kink spokesman Mike Stabile said the company had given OSHA inspectors access to the former National Guard armory that houses its studios and had walked them through the company’s safety protocols.
He said despite the moratorium having been lifted, the company had decided to “err on the side of caution” and had not yet resumed shooting.
Kink owner Peter Acworth said in a statement that OSHA inspectors went to the studio Tuesday, and added, “The complaint was not based on any actual issues from that shoot, but was filed by the AHF as part of their larger objection to the industry in general.
“Regardless, performer safety is not an issue to be taken lightly, and we were happy to take Cal/OSHA into the Armory and discuss our safety protocols, which are some of the most stringent in the industry,” he continued.
OSHA can impose fines of up to $70,000 for workplace safety and health violations and in some cases can seek criminal penalties.
Separately, Los Angeles County’s public health department is investigating the HIV case.
A measure passed last year by L.A. County voters mandating condom use in adult-film productions is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. Separately, advocates are hoping state legislators will pass a bill that would extend the mandate to films shot throughout California.