Industry News

Health of Adult Industry Addressed In LATimes


County supervisors urged to step up oversight of porn industry
September 1, 2009 |  5:22 pm
Saying that the Los Angeles County Public Health Department has minimized sexually transmitted diseases and HIV cases in the porn industry,  AIDS activists and former adult film workers on Tuesday urged county supervisors  to step up oversight of the industry.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has already filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that the county has failed to prevent the spread of disease in the industry. The organization asked the court to require the county to enforce regulations mandating condom use in adult film productions. The county answered the court petition by suggesting that the public need is “minimal,” because there are only 1,200 adult film performers – less than .01% of the population.

“Would the county of L.A. say the same thing about 1,200 firemen or restaurant workers or bankers?” asked Jessie Gruttadauria, director of public affairs for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  “How many performers in this multibillion-dollar industry in our backyard have to get sick before this becomes a public need?”

In June, an adult film actress tested positive for HIV. Also, county health officials released data that 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been reported since 2004 by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a San Fernando Valley-based clinic. Clinic officials said the HIV cases did not involve active performers. County officials declined to provide any details about those cases and said little investigation was done. County public health officials have declined several requests for interviews.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, nearly 200 letters had been sent to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, asking him to look into the issue and demand action from the county public health department.

At the meeting, Yaroslavsky called the health of adult film workers a “legitimate issue.”

“If there’s something we can do, we’re going to find a way to do it,” he said. Yaroslavsky said he has asked the public health department for a report on the matter and that it should be completed within two weeks.

— Kimi Yoshino

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