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Bill would require condom use in California porn

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 at 2:01 pm in Assembly, Tom Ammiano.

The California Legislature remains, er, hard at work.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Los Angeles, announced he’s holding a news conference tomorrow – Valentine’s Day – to introduce a bill requiring condom use in all adult films produced in California.

Hall will be joined by Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Darren James, a former adult film actor who contracted HIV while working in the porn industry. The assemblyman’s news release said his bill would “provide statewide uniformity needed to ensure that the thousands of actors employed in this multi-billion dollar industry are given reasonable workplace safety protections needed to reduce exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.”

About 57 percent of Los Angeles County voters in November approved Measure B, requiring the use of condoms in all adult films produced within the county.

The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation conducts regular screenings of porn performers, which has minimized the spread of HIV and other diseases. But James was believed to have contracted the virus during a film shoot in Brazil, and transmitted it to several actresses here in California before he tested positive a few weeks later in 2004.

UPDATE @ 2:22 P.M.: Remarkably, this isn’t the only condom legislation the Assembly is rolling out (or on) today.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, just announced he has introduced a bill that would further public health goals by ending the criminalization of condom possession among sex workers.

AB 336 would end the practice by which police use the possession of one or more prophylactics as a factor in prostitution arrests and prosecution. Researchers believe this change would help stem the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“The police have plenty of other criteria they can use in determining who should be arrested as a prostitute, but condoms are the only effective deterrent to the spread of HIV,” Ammiano said in a news release. “We have to encourage safe-sex practices, not frighten people into spreading disease.”

A researcher presenting a study at the International AIDS Conference in 2012 called for just this kind of legislation to resolve the dilemma of sex workers who feel they must decide between being arrested and protecting themselves for sexually transmitted diseases. Condom use during prostitution also protects customers and families of both parties.

The bill would not prevent the police from identifying or arresting suspected prostitutes. Law enforcement could still use other factors – things like presence in known prostitution areas, approaching cars, manner of dress, possession of sex toys or lubricants, possession of large amounts of cash – as evidence.

“They can still arrest people under the law,” Ammiano said. “They would only be prevented from using as evidence the one thing that protects public health: condoms.”

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  • RR Senile Columnist

    I am disappointed not a word about this issue appeared in the President’s address,

  • http://humboldtlib.blogspot.com Fred Mangels

    Love it. Now they’re even trying to chase the porn industry out of the state.

  • Publius

    Still waiting for our super majority to mandate that Ca. Democrats wear condoms when screwing the tax payer.

  • c5

    Really? Do we want to export the porn industry to neighboring states? Personally I could care less about the porn industry, but it does seem that HIV cases are exceedingly rare in the industry. It is not in their interest to have health issues, so they seem to do a pretty good job of self-policing. If this state imposes their own restriction, we could just be sending this industry elsewhere. My guess is they could perform their services anywhere there are beds..or kitchen tables for that matter…:)

    This one seems to be a bit unnecessary.

  • Mark Kernes

    Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation has been out of business for at least a year. Testing of performers is now being carried out by other facilities, including Cutting Edge Testing, and Talent Testing Services. And it is a fact that there has been no transmission of HIV on a hetero adult movie set in more than 8 years, so yes, this legislation is worse than useless.

  • bbox231

    Each of you may be right.

    But, I also wondered (and couldnt come up with an answer to) – name another business or industry in which employees run the risk of exposure to life-threatening pathogens and, which is totally self or un-regulated.

  • Elwood

    “This one seems to be a bit unnecessary.”

    As does the entire CA leg.

  • JohnW

    What are the job qualifications to be a government inspector to monitor compliance with the legislation?