CANOGA PARK, Calif.—The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) responded today to AHF’s press conference concerning voter support for a LA County-mandated condom ordinance.
“The poll is a failed attempt to distract from the real issue that adult production has no impact or influence on the rate of HIV in LA County,” said Diane Duke, FSC Executive Director. “The County itself has proven time and time again that HIV rates in LA County are not influenced by adult film production.”
FSC points to an epidemiological profile commissioned by LA County in 2009. In that document it states, “The intent of the Profile is to synthesize recent research and surveillance data, as well as highlight changing patterns and emerging trends, in order to assist planning bodies and service organizations to target their HIV prevention and care efforts.” Nowhere in the 152-page profile is the adult film industry cited as a contributing factor to LA County’s rate of HIV.
What is cited as contributing factors are poverty, high unemployment, lack of affordable housing, homelessness and the lack of healthcare for LA County’s uninsured.
“A conservative estimate is that AHF, using paid signature gatherers, will spend nearly 2 million dollars getting the county ordinance on the ballot and millions more on a campaign,” Duke continued. “Imagine how many of those uninsured LA County residents could have been educated, tested and treated with those resources. History has shown us that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults does not work. The best way to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs is by providing quality information and sexual health services.”
FSC believes that when individuals are given accurate information concerning the issue of mandatory condoms they come out overwhelmingly against the issue, as demonstrated in a recent figures on a Huffington Post debate/survey, Condoms in Porn: Common Sense or Overreach? FSC doubts that LA County residents will want to use valuable taxpayer dollars to create a county bureaucracy developed solely to monitor adult performers for an issue that has no impact on the county whatsoever.
“Ironically,” Duke continued, “if condoms were mandatory, existing testing protocols would likely disappear. The protocols that are in place are here to protect the performers and successfully do so. Performer health and safety is a priority for the adult film industry, which is why the industry’s standards and self-regulation have been so successful. This is represented by the industry’s low rate of STI transmission and no on-set transmission of HIV in the industry in more than 5 years.
“It’s time for AHF to stop blaming the adult entertainment industry for its lack of efficacy in the provision of HIV education health services,” Duke concluded. “If AHF isn’t going to use the resources it gets from state and local governments and its donors wisely, then perhaps those resources should go to the other AIDS organizations who understand and will stay focused on their mission.”