California: Tests Urged for Actors in Adult Films
March 13, 2003
Los Angeles County health officials have called on the state to more vigorously regulate the local adult film business, acknowledging public health and workplace safety problems in the industry. The move comes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ordered an investigation by its health department into the industry, which is predominantly based in the San Fernando Valley.Adapted from:
The health department, in a Feb. 27 report, found that the industry poses a health risk to its workers as well as a public health concern to the general population. The report said that although several production companies require HIV tests, examinations for other STDs "are not mandatory under current heterosexual industry protocols."
Health officials recommended that the Board of Supervisors seek state regulations that would specifically require adult film actors to use condoms and be tested for a variety of communicable diseases, including HIV and hepatitis.
Attorney Paul Cambria, whose adult film clients include Hustler, Vivid Video and Wicked Pictures, insists that the leading companies do require testing for STDs among their workers.
The extent of infection among adult film actors is unknown because no government or regulatory medical agency has consistently tracked the industry. In tests administered by the Adult Industry Medical HealthCare Foundation clinic to 483 adults between October 2001 and March 2002, 40 percent tested positive for at least one STD. The tests, conducted at the industry-backed Sherman Oaks clinic, found nearly 17 percent had chlamydia, 13 percent had gonorrhea, and 10 percent hepatitis B or C. No one tested positive for HIV during either period, according to foundation officials.
The county report points out that two sections of the California labor code regulate exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and require employers to have written plans to protect their workers and provide them with protective equipment applicable to the hazards of the job. In addition to increased testing, county health officials also recommended that the state monitor whether adult film companies were complying with current and proposed requirements on health and safety, as well as document and track the test results of the adult film workers.
Los Angeles Times
03.13.03; P.J. Huffstutter