A healthcare group has called on California to require use of condoms in the production of adult films.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a petition with Cal/OSHA calling for the condom requirement.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) reports that actors in the X-rated flicks are ten times more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease than members of the public.
The LACDPH has stated that as many as 25 industry-related cases of HIV have been reported since 2004.
AHF accuses the porn industry of inaction to comply with current Cal/OSHA regulations.
In August, AHF filed 16 worker-safety complaints with Cal/OSHA over the lack of condom use in adult film production and submitted nearly 60 adult DVDs filmed in California as proof.
However, the adult film industry is already doing an excellent job of protecting its performers, writes Alexandre Padilla, a professor of economics at Metropolitan State College in Denver, in Forbes magazine.
Padilla writes that, since the industry’s HIV testing policy was implemented in 1998, there has been only one major outbreak. He also claims that all but four performers who tested HIV-positive contracted the disease outside the industry; therefore the threat doesn’t come from the workplace.
The Forbes article also notes another potential problem. The film-makers would have to hire actors as employees to comply with Cal/OSHA regulations. However, California anti-discrimination laws prohibit requiring an HIV test as a condition of employment, so HIV tests for those in the films would become illegal.
Padilla also predicts that a condom policy would create a black market for condom-less porn and drive the businesses out of California.
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Update: On Dec. 22, a judge denied the request calling for mandatory use of condoms on adult film sets. The judge ruled local health officials have broad discretion in how they oversee public health. The groups that filed the petition plan to appeal.