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Adult film testing bill, AB 2798, shelved

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would require the use of condoms and mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases by adult-film performers was shelved for further study Tuesday after legislators said it appeared to have been rushed without proper study or discussion.

Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Roseville, argued his bill would protect the public health by stemming the spread of HIV and other diseases.

“This represents a tremendous public health risk, because the actors eventually go to their hometowns, where they have other relationships that are not involved in the filmmaking industry,” Leslie said.

Industry representatives opposed the bill, saying they believe they have done a sufficient job regulating and testing themselves. Until the recent outbreak, no cases of HIV had been detected among performers for the last five years.

But the spread of HIV among at least three [now four] performers points out flaws in their voluntary testing system that they will now address. The first performer who tested positive and spread HIV to others apparently caught it while working in Brazil.

Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, who has been working on health care issues relating to the adult film industry for a year, said the bill appeared to be put together too quickly.

“I think trying to do this at the last minute with several sensitive amendments, and the last one very last minute, is not the right approach,” Koretz said. “I think this requires very careful study.”

The Assembly Health Committee sent the bill back for further study.

Also Tuesday, industry health officials identified another new case of HIV in the industry, but said it was unrelated to the outbreak.

The performer is a transsexual who goes by the name Jennifer, and who contracted the virus from personal contact outside the industry. The case appears to be contained, officials said.



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