Industry News

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Loses

L.A. County does not have to require condoms for porn actors, court rules
– Kenneth R. Weiss

Los Angeles County public health officials do not need to require porn industry performers to wear condoms to protect against the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, an appeals court affirmed Friday.

The Second District Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling that dismissed a petition from AIDS activists to force the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to mandate condoms during the filming of hardcore pornography.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation had gone to court to compel county officials to act, arguing that they had “passively observed an ever-growing epidemic” within the porn industry. The foundation argued that the health department had documented thousands of sexually transmitted diseases among adult film stars and attributed the epidemic “to a lack of protection equipment for performers, including condoms.”

The county moved to have the lawsuit thrown out, saying the foundation was asking for too much — to take “any and all other reasonable steps necessary to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the production of pornography.”

A Superior Court judge decided to dismiss the case in 2009, ruling that county officials had broad discretion over how they manage public health matters. The appeals court agreed, saying it could not compel the county health department to implement AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “agenda” to combat  sexually transmitted diseases.

“The foundation’s public policy advocacy is better directed at lawmakers to change the laws and workplace regulations,” the three-judge panel wrote in a 15-page opinion.

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