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Update: HIV Activists Say County Needs to Do More to Protect Actors

from – LA County officials say they can’t require condom use in the porn industry.

The reason: It’s too hard to police.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding told the Board of Supervisors Monday that adult film production companies require little more than a camera and a bed for a shoot, making porn sets nearly impossible to regulate.

The remarks came as the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation called on county officials and state officials to curb sexually transmitted disease in porn actors by requiring condom use.

HIV/AIDS advocates called on the county Monday to mandate the use of condoms in pornographic film production. But County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky accused them of doing more to attract media attention than achieving results.

Several AIDS activists appeared before the Board of Supervisors during a discussion of funding for an unrelated HIV study to make their case on behalf of actors in the adult film industry.

“This board and the county Department of (Public) Health have done nothing” to protect workers in the adult film industry, said Brian Chase [pictured], an attorney for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The nonprofit filed a petition with the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board in December asking it to explicitly require the use of condoms during the production of adult films.

Workers in the pornographic film industry “deserve some kind of a voice, some kind of protection,” Supervisor Yaroslavsky agreed. “They are at risk of losing their lives if they do comply with the standards of the industry as it applies today.”

But the supervisor, who came under direct fire from the activists, took issue with their implication that the county had done nothing and he questioned their motives.

“What we’ve tried to find … is a … legal mechanism … that will produce results. Not produce a press conference, but will produce results,” Yaroslavsky said. “I’m tired of you making statements that are just patently untrue, setting up straw men and turning them down.”

Fielding said state legislation “is the only effective way” to enforce the use of condoms on porn film sets. He noted that film producers could dodge a county ordinance by simply moving across county lines or keeping a low profile.

“I don’t give a damn if they leave L.A. County,” said Yaroslavsky. “This is not an industry that we want to protect and enhance.”


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