Industry News

Weinstein To File Complaint Against Brazzers ( & more)

Press Release from AIDS Healthcare Foundation

HIV porn case: AHF to file complaints with federal & FL health officials against producers Teleconference—today—Aug 31st—2PM Pacific
AHF officials will submit a health and safety complaint under Florida ‘Sanitary Nuisance’ statutes against Brazzers, the production company allegedly involved in the latest HIV case in the adult film industry; industry sources say male performer involved had worked directly with as many as a dozen performers

Group also will call on the Free Speech Coalition to stop obstructing the investigation in Los Angeles County and provide necessary information to health authorities and will call on Los Angeles City officials to suspend all new film permits for adult films

In response to the latest reported HIV case in the adult film industry—thought to be the 23rd industry-related HIV case since 2004—AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a press teleconference today, Wednesday, August 31st at 2:00 PM Pacific Time to announce the filing of a ‘sanitary nuisance’ health complaint with the Florida Department of Health and a similar letter of complaint with federal OSHA officials against Brazzers, the adult film production company widely reported as the company where the infected performer was employed. Industry sources say the male performer involved had worked directly—and without condoms—with as many as a dozen female performers.

“When will it end? This is yet another suspected case of HIV infection in the adult film industry. Given the wide reports, and given that Brazzers affirmatively states they do not use condoms—a violation of both state and federal health statutes—it makes sense to investigate them in the hopes of putting an end to further infections,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We are filing these complaints with Florida health officials and federal OSHA officials to prompt industry compliance with employee health and safety regulations and to spur proper and thorough public health investigations of this reported incident. In addition, we are calling on the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry-sponsored advocacy group, to stop obstructing the investigation of this incident in Los Angeles County and provide all of the necessary information to public health authorities. FSC is an advocacy group, they are not authorized to do these health investigations, and they are not qualified. The pattern of non-cooperation that has characterized the industry and led to the current situation is continuing. It is the responsibility of Los Angeles County, which has not issued any statement to this point, to demand cooperation from the adult industry. Even though the initial exposure took place in Florida, the shutdown in LA constitutes a major public health event under the law. We are also reaffirming our call on the City of Los Angeles to stop issuing new permits.”

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC)—which has fiercely opposed condom use in adult films—reported over the weekend that yet another adult film performer has tested HIV positive, and as a result, the industry group itself called for a moratorium on all adult film production, “…until possible first and second-generation exposures have been identified.” Sources within the adult industry also said the performer is thought to be a male and had worked directly with as many as a dozen female performers, who in turn worked with scores of other performers.

“This latest outbreak underscores the urgent need for immediate action by government to stop this occupational health hazard from continuing. The claim that HIV testing is an adequate substitute for condom use has once again been proven false,” added AHF’s Weinstein, who is also one of five named proponents of the ‘City of Los Angeles Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act’ ballot initiative. “The question remains how many performers must become infected with HIV and other serous STDs before the industry will clean up its act and government will do the right thing? This outrageous disregard for the health and safety of the performers and the community at large is a shameful blot on the reputation of Los Angeles. We call for immediate action by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. The temporary moratorium on filming should become a permanent one until condoms are mandatory. We request an immediate ‘cease and desist’ order be issued by the County as a public health protection and that all permits for adult films be cancelled by the City until these productions certify that they are using condoms in the production of porn.”

Multiple organizations committed to protecting the public health have called for mandatory use of condoms in the production of adult films, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the California Conference of Local AIDS Directors, the California STD Controllers Association, the National Coalition of STD Directors, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the California Medical Association.

‘Sanitary Nuisance’ Complaints in Florida
Unlike California or the federal government, the State of Florida does not have a specifically designated occupational safety and health division. However, there is a “sanitary nuisance” law in the Florida Statutes. AHF believes that unprotected sex in a commercial setting should, arguably, fall under the definition of a “sanitary nuisance,” since Florida law defines it as “any act” that may cause disease.

386.01 Sanitary nuisance.–A sanitary nuisance is the commission of any act, by an individual, municipality, organization, or corporation, or the keeping, maintaining, propagation, existence, or permission of anything, by an individual, municipality, organization, or corporation, by which the health or life of an individual, or the health or lives of individuals, may be threatened or impaired, or by which or through which, directly or indirectly, disease may be caused.

386.02 Duty of Department of Health.–The Department of Health, upon request of the proper authorities, or of any three responsible resident citizens, or whenever it may seem necessary to the department, shall investigate the sanitary condition of any city, town, or place in the state; and if, upon examination, the department shall ascertain the existence of any sanitary nuisance as herein defined, it shall serve notice upon the proper party or parties to remove or abate the said nuisance or, if necessary, proceed to remove or abate the said nuisance in the manner provided in s. 823.01.

As such, three “responsible resident citizens” will file complaints with the Florida Department of Health asking them to investigate a sanitary nuisance—unprotected sex taking place on adult film productions in the state.

There is also a Miami-Dade County “sanitary nuisance” law as well (Miami-Dade County Municipal Ordinances Chapter 26A). It uses a similar definition of “sanitary nuisance” as the state law, and it provides for the Director of the Dade County Department of Public Health to investigate nuisances.

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