L.A. County Supervisors Order Health Officials to Strengthen HIV, STD Prevention Programs in Bathhouses, Sex Clubs
February 4, 2004
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support a motion requiring county public health officials to strengthen sexually transmitted disease prevention efforts among men who have sex with men at bathhouses and sex clubs, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. The motion, sponsored by County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, requires the county Department of Health Services and other workers within 90 days to recommend improvements for prevention programs and guidelines for how the county and cities can coordinate licensing and permitting for the clubs (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3). The motion cited a study conducted in 2002, which found that 11% of men at two Los Angeles area bathhouses tested HIV-positive, compared with 5% of men who had been tested at a public clinic or community-based testing center (AIDS Healthcare Foundation release, 2/3). The high rate of HIV among MSM in bathhouses "suggests that our HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and treatment efforts must be strengthened to address the environment in which high-risk sexual behavior occurs," the motion said (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3). "Serious infectious diseases continue to be transmitted at these venues while we sit here today, while we wait for this report to be compiled," Karen Mall, director of prevention and testing for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, adding, "I urge this body to act quickly to develop a sound public health ordinance in order to ensure clients have consistent, accessible prevention and HIV and STD screening services in these venues" (AHF release, 2/3).
Black AIDS Awareness Week
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.