News Column

Los Angeles AIDS organization files out-of-state complaint to enforce condom law

August 8, 2014

By Susan Abram, Daily News, Los Angeles



Aug. 08--Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed the first formal complaint with a Nevada regulatory agency against an adult film production company that made a movie in Las Vegas and allegedly exposed performers to infectious diseases.

The film that was made for a website run by Kink.com studios allegedly shows images of performers engaging in activities that "are highly likely to spread blood-borne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials," according to AHF.

"This new complaint in Nevada is based on the simple fact that they cannot hide from federal law there, or anywhere in the U.S.," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The foundation filed the complaint with Nevada'sOccupational Safety and Health Administration. The agency confirmed a complaint had been filed.

"Federal and state governing measures must be taken to control the spread of blood-borne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials, which include, but are not limited to, HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis in the workplace," according to Weinstein.

The complaint comes almost two years after voters approved Measure B, which AHF supported and which makes it mandatory that adult film performers wear condoms while filming in Los Angeles County. The measure is currently being reviewed in a federal appeals court.

In addition, a state bill authored by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, will make it mandatory for all adult filmmaking in California to use condoms. The bill is being considered by the Senate's appropriation's committee. Technically, condom use on porn sites already is required under state and city law, but the current statutes are not enforced.

The adult film industry has said that the condom laws will force thousands of jobs out of the San Fernando Valley, where the adult-film industry has been based since the 1970s. The industry has been estimated to be worth $6 billion statewide.

In addition, the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition, which represents the adult-film industry, has said that a program that allows adult-film performers to test for sexually transmitted diseases 28 days or more often has been the industry's best deterrent. If the industry moves out of state or underground, that testing may stop, the group has said.

"The complaint is baseless," Peter Acworth, founder and CEO of Kink.com, said in a statement Thursday of AHF's complaint. "It wasn't filed by anyone at the actual workplace, but by Michael Weinstein to bolster his current political campaign. Current federal regulations make no mention of condoms, and uses standards that were developed in the 1990s for hospital labs, not porn sets. We will continue to work with performers, doctors and regulators to develop protocols that keep sets safe, and still respect performers' rights."

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(c)2014 the Daily News (Los Angeles)

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Source: Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


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