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UCLA Conference Friday

reported on LOS ANGELES – Several years since an HIV breakout among adult performers, an invitation-only conference at UCLA has been scheduled to revisit the issue of safety on the set.

Porn stars, producers, industry attorneys and public health officials on Friday will discuss ways to improve safety and health of adult video performers at the one-day think tank, which organizer Paula Tavrow hopes to build a “working consensus.”

“More than two years have passed, and there has been new

technology that the industry can use to reduce the exposure of risk that these performers face,” Tavrow told XBIZ. “Every industry on the face of the Earth has issues it needs to address. This industry needs to take a hard look at itself.”

Tavrow, who is a director at UCLA’s School of Public Health, has invited numerous adult industry professionals, including performers Adam Glasser, Traci Bryant, Lizzy Law and Mr. Marcus, as well as industry icon Bill Margold and Titan Media legal counsel Gill Sperlein.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cal/OSHA, which regulates protection of workers and the public from safety hazards, also will be present. Tavrow said that a representative from Calif. Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl’s office also will be present.

One of the highlights of the event, Tavrow said, is the presentation of a paper from a postdoctoral student on the issue of adult performers at risk of STDs. The student researched 50 straight and 50 gay films relative to risk in the workplace, she said.

Several attempts to regulate the industry through legislation have failed in recent years. But Cal/OSHA levied penalties in 2004 from the result of adult video shoots.

Cal/OSHA issued fines against two adult companies for allegedly failing to protect three employees from health hazards on the film set of “Split That Booty 2,” which starred Darren James, Jessica Dee and Lara Roxx, three of five performers who contracted HIV during that year’s outbreak, which resulted in a temporary shutdown of all adult film production.

Van Nuys, Calif.-based Evasive Angles and TTB Productions were fined a total of $30,560 for violations. The two companies, which are owned by T.T. Boy, received citations for violating the state’s bloodborne pathogen standard, a regulation that requires employers to protect workers exposed to blood or bodily fluids on the job.

Angles and TTB Productions also were cited for not notifying authorities about actors who contracted HIV on the job, officials said at the time, and for failing to prepare and follow a written safety and health program, known as an injury and illness prevention program.

The UCLA think-tank conference, titled “Safety of Workers in the Adult Film Industry,” is scheduled to run Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The California Family Health Council and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program are co-hosting the event.

Tavrow, who has primarily worked on public health issues in Africa, said that debate of adult performers and risk is something she sees as necessary, particularly since the majority of adult filmmaking is done in her own backyard, Los Angeles.

“This industry primarily is concerned about dollars,” Tavrow said. “Sadly, this issue [of safe sex on the set] is not a priority.”


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