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Entries in Porn Industry (5)

Friday
Nov092012

Porn Industry Against Mandatory Condom Measure

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A ballot measure mandating that porn stars wear condoms in adult films passed with 56 percent of the vote in Los Angeles County this week, but the adult film industry in California says it already has a system to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases -- and it's better than latex.

The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, or Measure B, will require performers to wear condoms during vaginal and anal intercourse, something industry leaders and their employees think is unnecessary because studios require performers to submit to mandatory STD testing every 14 or 28 days.  If they aren't STD-free, they can't be entered into the industry-wide sexual health database, and they're banned from performing.

"The adult industry takes this very seriously.  This is how we survive as an industry," said Steve Hirsch, who founded porn production company Vivid Entertainment in 1984 and argues that Measure B is unnecessary.  "This is how these performers make a living.  We're talking about their lives."

He said Measure B is a "solution looking for a problem."

Spearheaded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Measure B also requires adult film producers to complete a blood-borne pathogen training course, post compliance signs on set, and cover fees for periodic inspections.

The Free Speech Coalition, the adult film industry trade group, has already written a letter to Los Angeles County to say compliance with measure B has "excessive costs," is unconstitutional and should not fall to local government to decide.  The letter said FSC will "challenge this intolerable law in court," and may move its billion dollar industry elsewhere.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California Los Angeles, spoke at an AHF press conference following Measure B's passage.  He said recent surveys and studies proved that adult performers are 8 to 15 times more likely to contract an STD than anyone else.  He also said current industry testing practices are insufficient because they miss herpes simplex, as well as Chlamydia and gonorrhea in the throat or anus.

"This is really a victory for common sense," said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, a senior director at AHF, during the conference.  "I hope that the production directors and performers and all of the industry realize it was not only the voters who passed this.  It was also customers."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

Porn Actor Tests Positive for Syphilis

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A porn actor's positive syphilis test has prompted an industry-wide moratorium on adult film production.

The Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, has asked movie producers to suspend work on X-rated films and videos while actors get tested and treated for the sexually-transmitted bacterial infection.

"I always appreciate how our industry comes together in a time of need," Diane Duke, the group's executive director, said in a statement. "Clearly our industry's priority is the health and well-being of our performers."

Doctors from the coalition's Adult Production Health and Safety Services will test all porn performers for syphilis using the rapid plasma reagin test -- a screening test that spots infection-induced antibodies. They will also administer prophylactic antibiotics to protect uninfected performers from the disease.

"Once the performer receives antibiotics, he or she will be available to work within 10 days," the coalition said in a statement, adding that several porn production companies have offered to cover the cost of syphilis testing and treatment.

The decision on when to lift the production moratorium will be made "as more information is revealed," according to the coalition.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis -- from painless sores on the genitals or mouth to skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes -- can take years to emerge, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if left untreated, the disease can lead to numbness, paralysis, blindness, dementia, and even death.

While less common than Chlamydia and gonorrhea, syphilis cases are on the rise in California. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of syphilis cases jumped 18 percent, according to data from the state Department of Public Health obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The syphilis scare comes less than a year after a porn actor's positive HIV test halted adult film production, prompting calls for mandatory condom use in X-rated shoots.

"There really cannot be an argument over the fact that these performers would be far safer if they used condoms," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told ABC News at the time.

Subsequent testing revealed the HIV test result was a false positive. Nevertheless, the foundation plans to highlight the syphilis incident on a Nov. 6 ballot measure mandating condom use in L.A. porn production, according to a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Porn Actor Retests HIV-Negative after Industry Shutdown

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- An adult film performer whose positive HIV test prompted the shutdown of Los Angeles' billion-dollar porn industry last week has been retested and does not have the virus, an industry trade group announced.

“This is good news for the primary patient, the industry will continue to be abundantly cautious as we try to nail down the reasons for what now appears to have been a false positive result on a previous test,” Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke said in a statement.

"After discussion with our medical expert, he has advised that it would be appropriate for production to resume," she added.

HIV tests detect antibodies to the virus in a person's blood.  But because they are developed to be especially sensitive, they can sometimes generate a false positive result, according to the World Health Organization.  Therefore, positive results must be confirmed by another test method.

The HIV scare came less than one month after the Free Speech Coalition launched a new online sexual health database aimed at preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among porn actors through mandatory testing.  To be listed in the database -- a requisite for getting work -- porn actors must get tested every 30 days and present a clean bill of health.  But critics say routine testing does not prevent STDs from creeping in.

"Testing is not a substitute for condom use, and it never will be," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.  "No test can detect HIV from the moment of infection.  There will always be a window period," which might not reflect recent infection.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing for mandatory condom use in the making of adult films -- a move that's been met with strong resistance from the industry itself.

"If the market would accept condom-positive movies, that's what we would all be making.  The fact is consumers don't want that," Christian Mann, general manger of Evil Angel Productions and unpaid Free Speech Coalition board member, told ABC News when the database launched.

"The market will always trump regulation," said Mann.  "If you make it so California-based productions cannot compete in the market, you'll just drive production out of the state."

But Weinstein insists that worker safety should not be optional.

"You can't dangle from a 30-story building from a rope; you have to wear a harness," he said.  "The idea that hurting these performers is a matter of freedom of expression is simply wrong."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug022011

Sexual Health Database Protects Porn Stars' Privacy

Comstock/Thinkstock(CANOGA PARK, Calif) -- The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry, has launched an online database that lists pornography performers who are sexually-transmitted disease-free and available for work.

The database, called Adult Production Health & Safety Services, is accessible only by producers, performers and their agents. It replaces a database operated by AIM Medical Associates, which was shut down in May after the site was hacked and performers' private medical information was leaked online.

Proponents say the new database will safeguard performers' sexual health as well as their privacy. But critics say it promotes unsafe sex.
"I think the message is going out to people, particularly young people, that the only kind sex that's hot is unsafe," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles. Weinstein's organization has lobbied for mandatory condom use in adult films despite pushback from performers who favor mandatory routine testing.

But performers say the database, requiring a negative STD test every 30 days for a listing, gives them the information they need to protect themselves.

Some production companies, however, won't hire performers that insist on condoms because consumers won't buy the product. They worry that mandating condom use would drive the industry underground and make it less safe.

For Nina Hartley, a performer of 27 years, and a sex expert with a degree in nursing, condoms make on-set sex uncomfortable and, she argues, more dangerous. But off-set it's a different story.

"I would say it's different in a civilian population," said Hartley. "But public health is not served by forcing a small group of professionals to use condoms instead of being tested."

Hartley has strong words for those who say pornography without condoms promotes unsafe sex.
"It's not the job of adult entertainers to be educating people about safe sex practices," she said, adding that the "ignorance-based abstinence-only model of sexual education" does little to promote safe sex either.

Copyright ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb102011

XXX: Condom Ordinance for Porn Industry?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It may soon be mandatory for porn stars to wear condoms on every pornography set in the city of Los Angeles, reports the LA Weekly.

City lawmakers drafted the law last week after a unanimous vote. The L.A. Attorney's Office will look into whether such an ordinance would be feasible to enforce, and if so, they are likely to allow a vote on the issue as early as next month.

A recent HIV scare in which an industry performer tested positive for the disease has renewed concerns in Los Angeles, the porn capital of the country. Just last December, a clinic that had monitored health in the industry for the past decade closed its doors, leaving the industry to more or less police itself.
 
Porn makers, however, have said that the ordinance would cause a drop in sales and ultimately push the industry out-of-state and underground, where performers would be less safe than before.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio