Porn industry threatens to quit LA over condom ruling

Porn industry condom debate

Porn stars are already protected, say LA adult film producers… plus sales will suffer

LAST UPDATED AT 15:18 ON Tue 21 Feb 2012

PORN industry producers in Los Angeles are threatening to take legal action or move out of town over a new law that states that actors in adult films must wear condoms while performing.
 
The controversial law, given final approval by LA City Council last month, will take effect on 5 March. It follows a series of incidents in which porn productions were suspended over concerns that HIV had been spread among performers.
 
AIDS activists have spent months aggressively campaigning for the government to step in to make porn sets safer and prevent the promotion of unsafe sex. But filmmakers say the law is unnecessary because they regularly test actors for HIV and say they tried a similar move in the 1990s after an HIV scare but sales suffered. Some porn companies insist they allow actors to wear condoms if they want but most choose not to.
 
The debate "pits the desire to protect the health of porn actors against the freedom to make films that audiences want to see", reports Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times today.
 
Michael Weinstein, president of the LA-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, says the porn industry's message that "the only type of sex that's hot is unsafe" is "detrimental" and hopes to extend the ban to dozens of additional communities in California.
 
But Diane Duke, from the adult film lobby group Free Speech Coalition, warns that it is the first step of government interfering into the way the industry makes its movies. She compares porn stars to boxers who fight for entertainment despite the risk of injuries.
 
One porn actor who tested HIV-positive in 2010 was Derrick Burts, who was told by clinic staff that he was infected by a fellow performer. Porn industry representatives in LA maintain that Burts was not infected on the job and are adamant they haven't had a confirmed work-related HIV case since 2004.
 
But Burts, who backs mandatory condoms, says: "It's a broken system that they have in place. What performer wouldn't want to feel more safe on a work set?" · 

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