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LA Daily News Editorial: Porn industry must keep its, uh, nose clean

from www.dailynews.com – If several adult-video actors’ complaints about unhealthy practices on porn sets are accurate, it’s the kind of news that could build support for California to adopt a law like Los Angeles County’s requiring condoms in X-rated productions.

This should be a lesson to porn filmmakers — not that they should need reminding — about the need to keep their, uh, noses clean by complying with their industry’s avowed standards for safety and frequent medical testing.

At a press conference put on by the pro-condom AIDS Healthcare Foundation Wednesday in Hollywood, performer Cameron Bay was among actors saying they are certain they became infected with HIV on sets where no condoms were used. In the case of Bay, whose HIV positive caused the first of two temporary porn-production shutdowns this summer, the sets would have been in San Francisco, where she shot scenes for a studio called Kink.com.

Disgusting imagery alert: Bay told reporters she worked with a male performer who had a bloody cut on the tip of his penis. She said actors in such a situation are afraid to ask for a condom for fear of being replaced.

Representatives of Kink.com and the Free Speech Coalition — the porn industry’s San Fernando Valley-based trade group — said Bay and other performers misrepresented the facts. But it sounds as if something unsafe happened in Bay’s Kink.com shoot.

The porn industry has an obligation to protect its performers, the partners whom performers could infect in their private lives, and the community. It also has an obligation to those who have stood up for it in the fight against condom laws, and to the parts of Southern California that don’t want to lose its significant economic contributions.

Producers in L.A. County must obey the condom law that voters here approved in 2012. And the industry all over California must live up to its claim that frequent testing for sexually transmitted diseases has kept infections among performers relatively rare. The Free Speech Coalition’s announcement this week that performers now will be tested every 14 days instead of 28 is either a laudable move or an admission that the old way wasn’t good enough.

A bill by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, to require condoms in porn shoots statewide died in a Senate committee this month — but that effort could be revived.

The porn industry must police itself lest more Californians begin to think the state should police it, an expansion of an economically damaging measure that nobody here should want.

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