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U.S. News

California: County Sued Over Porn Industry STDs

July 17, 2009

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Thursday asked a court to order the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to enforce rules requiring the use of condoms during the production of adult movies, or to take other reasonable steps to prevent STD transmission in the industry. AHF's petition to the Los Angeles County Superior Court comes a month after it was disclosed that an adult-film actress tested HIV-positive.

At that time, county health officials said 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases had been reported since 2004 by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), a clinic that screens performers for STDs. Officials also criticized AIM for not cooperating with health officials and urged film producers to do more to protect employees.

AHF's petition cites state health and safety codes that task the county health department with taking "all measures reasonably necessary to prevent the transmission of infection." Adult-video performers are 10 times more likely to acquire STDs, and many contract numerous infections in a year, according to county health data. Since 2004, 2,378 county patients who self-identified as adult-video performers contracted chlamydia, 1,357 tested positive for gonorrhea, and 15 for syphilis.

"The county continues to strongly support state legislation and the regulatory role of Cal/OSHA as the most appropriate means to regulate the practices of the adult-film industry that expose performers to unnecessary and preventable occupational risks of acquiring and transmitting these diseases," the county department said in a statement Thursday. "The department does not believe that litigation is the best means to deal with this issue."

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the latest HIV case and has issued subpoenas seeking AIM's medical records. The investigation is ongoing.

Back to other news for July 2009

Adapted from:
Los Angeles Times
07.17.2009; Kimi Yoshino

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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