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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 23 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 34
Two setbacks for porn industry - New HIV+ finding as federal court upholds LA condom ordinance
Section One
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Two setbacks for porn industry - New HIV+ finding as federal court upholds LA condom ordinance

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Two stunning setbacks have hit the multimillion-dollar porn industry centered in Los Angeles.

On August 16 a federal district judge upheld the Los Angeles County ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms during their performances.

Less than a week later, yet another porn actor reportedly tested positive for HIV, causing the industry to suspend filming indefinitely.

The August 16 ruling means that the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, better known as Measure B, which was passed by Los Angeles voters last November, can go into effect.

Meanwhile, the unnamed actor's co-performers are being tested for HIV by Adult Production Health and Safety Services, which works with the porn industry.

INDUSTRY CRITICIZED
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which defended the condom ordinance in court, used the latest HIV case as an opportunity to criticize the porn industry for ignoring basic safety measures.

'How many adult film performers have to become infected with an array of preventable sexually transmitted diseases - including HIV, which is not curable - before the porn industry actually complies with the law requiring condom use?' Weinstein asked in a statement.

The condom law was challenged by two porn studios, Vivid Entertainment and Califa Productions, and two performers, Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce.

Los Angeles County officials declined to defend the measure in court, but the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was granted 'intervener' status to defend the law against the porn industry's lawsuit.

HARM REDUCTION
In his August 16 ruling, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson wrote that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation presented evidence of the health risks the measure is targeting. He said the new law seeks to alleviate those harmed in a direct and material way.

'Plaintiffs [the adult film industry], by contrast, have presented evidence from individuals in the adult film industry, but not in the public health or medical profession, who claim testing is so effective and universal that condoms are unnecessary,' Pregerson wrote.

Weinstein called the judge's ruling 'a tremendous, tremendous victory, one that will go a long way to safeguard the health and safety of those adult performers working in the industry.'

HIV/AIDS activists began to advocate public health laws regulating the porn industry after several well-publicized HIV scares interrupted filming in 2010 and 2011. Industry spokespeople have opposed condom requirements not only because of First Amendment claims, but also because they contend that consumers prefer bareback porn.

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