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Californian porn stars face same safety training as medical staff

from www.timesonline.co.uk – Porn stars in California might soon be forced to undergo the same rigorous safety training as doctors and nurses under new rules being considered by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. The proposed rules would also prevent male performers from working entirely in the nude: they would have to at least wear condoms.

Arguing for more stringent standards is the Los Angeles-based Aids Healthcare Foundation, which filed a petition on the subject in December.

However, producers of adult entertainment are expected to argue that that move could damage their industry, which generates average revenues of $12.6 billion (£8.3 billion) per year, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

The last big Aids scare in the Los Angeles adult entertainment industry occurred in 2004, when a former personal trainer turned porn actor — Darren James — was found to be HIV positive. Three actresses who had worked with him also become infected: Lara Roxx, Miss Arroyo, and Jessica Dee.

Roxx, from Montreal, was just 21 and had been working as an adult performer for only two months when she learnt that she was HIV positive. “It totally made me realise how I trusted this system that wasn’t to be trusted at all, because it obviously doesn’t work,” she later told Adult Video News. “I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world.”

James later attempted suicide and went on to sue the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation for disclosing his condition. The case was settled out of court and James continues to work as an adult film director.

The 2004 scare resulted in a 60-day shut down of porn production while 45 performers were put under voluntary quarantine. But the issue once again made headlines last summer when another adult performer was tested positive for HIV. Recently disclosed public health records suggest that there have been at least 16 other unpublicised cases of HIV since the 2004 shutdown.

Nevertheless, Diane Duke [pictured], executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, says that new rules would be almost impossible to enforce.

“Every film would have performers in latex gloves and goggles,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

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