Policy & Politics
Calif. Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Require STD Tests for Porn Actors, Prohibit Hiring of HIV-Positive Actors
May 3, 2004
A California Assembly member has introduced a bill (AB 2798) that would require pornographic film actors to be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases within two weeks before production of a film and prohibit producers from hiring actors who test positive for HIV or other STDs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill, proposed by Assembly member Tim Leslie (R), also would allow any performer who is infected with an STD as a result of participation in an adult film to sue for damages if a production company failed to comply with the terms of the legislation. The bill would bar from work an estimated 30% to 50% of gay adult film actors who are HIV-positive, despite an industry standard of requiring condom use, according to the Times. (Liu/Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 5/2). The proposal comes after Los Angeles County Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding on April 20 launched an investigation into the spread of HIV in the pornography industry. Adult film actor Darren James last month tested positive for HIV, and 53 workers who may have had unprotected sex with James or his sex partners agreed to a voluntary work quarantine. Since then, two female actors who worked with James also have tested HIV-positive. About 12 companies agreed to a 60-day production moratorium until HIV testing of the actors is completed, industry experts said. About 1,200 adult film actors undergo monthly testing for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, and many production companies require performers to show their test results before filming (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/30). Current adult film industry regulation relies on an "expensive but advanced" test that "detects HIV quickly after infection," according to the Times. The proposed bill would "permit cheaper tests that take longer to detect infections," the Times reports.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.