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California County Declines to Force Condom Use in Porn Films

February 3, 2010

Yesterday, Los Angeles County officials said any requirement that condoms be used during the filming of pornography would have to originate with the state Legislature, not the county. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which brought up the issue, suffered an earlier setback in December when its petition for mandatory condom use to protect adult-film actors was dismissed by a county Superior Court.

"It's very, very difficult to implement. There are roughly 200 production companies with about 1,200 actors," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's public health chief. "All you need is a room and a camera and a bed, basically, to do this kind of shoot, and we have no ability to police this."

Producers often do not apply for filming licenses, and it would be difficult to prove a video was shot in the county, Fielding said. Identifying sites and monitoring for compliance would be very costly and take significant staff time, Fielding told county supervisors in a Sept. 17 memo.

"We worked closely with county counsel trying to see if there's some other way that we could effectively do this under existing authority, and basically, we're unlikely to have an effective approach," Fielding said Tuesday during a Board of Supervisors meeting. In 2004, his department testified in favor of legislation that would compel production companies to subsidize such monitoring.

"I think the only answer to this at the end of the day is a statewide approach to this, which would also empower law enforcement, and you run sting operations," said Sup. Zev Yaroslavsky, part of whose district includes the San Fernando Valley, where the adult-film industry is based. However, no state lawmaker has been willing to sponsor such legislation.

During Tuesday's meeting, AHF's assistant general counsel, Brian Chase, accused the county of having "done nothing" to protect adult-film performers.

Back to other news for February 2010

Adapted from:
Los Angeles Times
02.03.2010; Rong-Gong Lin II

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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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