“Why porn stars should wear condoms”

from www.digitaljournal.com – This week, a Los Angeles judge ruled that condoms are not mandatory on adult film sets. Several health care groups believe the porn industry is facing an epidemic of STDs due to bareback sex. Why should these employees face a hazardous work environment?

Consider this tidbit of news another blow to the health of porn workers: A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge threw out a petition seeking a court order to compel county public health officials to “require condom use on porn sets or take other reasonable steps to stem the spread of disease,” the L.A. Times reported.

Evidently, this judge thinks the county has broad discretion in how it manages public health. This decision flew in the face of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which submitted a petition revealing that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has “passively observed an ever-growing epidemic” within the porn industry.

According to the AHF, “condoms and other protection are used in less than 20% of hardcore heterosexual pornography.” Also, they found “2,013 individual cases of chlamydia and 965 cases of gonorrhea among [porn industry] workers between the years 2003 and 2007.”

It looks like something has to be done. But the recent court decision is a blow to anyone who believes a porn film set should be a safe working environment. Sure, it might be a bit seedier than the average accounting firm, but this is a job like anything else, and why should Actress A have to worry about Actor B’s callous indifference to wearing a jimmy hat?

A few adult film studios are taking action to fight STDs. Max Lincoln, the CEO of porn studio Eurocreme, decided to produce only “condom films”. He added, “…this moral stance places us at a serious disadvantage in the marketplace.”

Maybe so. Maybe porn purveyors don’t want to see people’s naughty bits covered in latex. That sheathing may ruin the fantasy and counter porn’s main intention.

Others may contend that a sex scene with a condom can add a realistic flourish. At the very least, a “condom porn” can teach viewers about safe sex.

It’s not like the porn industry is clamouring for mandated condom use. They don’t want the government intruding in their bedrooms. As the L.A. Times reports, the adult film industry’s Free Speech Coalition “published a draft of its own blood-borne pathogen plan [PDF] — a 13-page document that outlines numerous safety precautions but stops short of requiring condom use.”

The adult film industry is wrong-headed to believe it can throw out the ‘domes with zero repercussion. STDs aren’t going away anytime soon, and to properly combat an epidemic infecting the porn industry, more executives and directors need to take this issue seriously.

Otherwise, this epidemic will climax to a money shot no one wants.

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