L.A. Votes to Enforce Condom Use in Porn Industry

Jan 11, 2012 12:24pm

Los Angeles city lawmakers voted Tuesday 11-to-1 to require condoms  for people who work  in the City of Angel’s prolific porn industry.

The preliminary ordinance will be confirmed next week, according to the Associated Press. If confirmed,  porn stars must wear proper protection and film companies will have to pay a fee to cover the costs of enforcement and inspections.

The council also plans to gather a group from local law enforcement, workplace agencies and the city attorney’s office to decide on how to implement the new regulation.

The issue came up last month when the AIDS Healthcare Foundation collected more than 70,000 signatures  (41,000 were needed to have the measured considered) to propose a citywide vote, or a decision from the city council, on mandatory condom use.

Existing rules required porn stars to test negative for HIV and other STDs within 30 days of filming. Many people argued that such standards were not enough, especially because HIV often does not show up in tests until months after a person contracts the virus.

“There are thousands of STDs in this industry,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told Reuters last month. “It’s the ‘ick’ factor. They don’t want to deal with this because it’s sex, and because it’s porn.”

Many people in the adult entertainment industry argued that mandatory condom use would destroy the fantasy associated with pornography.

Nina Hartley, a former porn actress, argued at Tuesday’s meeting that condoms are uncomfortable and the industry already did a good job of regulating the potential spread of disease, according to the Los Angeles Times. And because porn actors are expected to have sex for 30- to 60-minute intervals, they could be susceptible to chafing and open wounds from condoms, which could, in turn, cause more problems in transmitting diseases, she said.

“We are an entertainment medium and it’s not our job to give safe-sex messages to the public,” she said.

But Derrick Burts, a 25-year-old former porn star who contracted HIV and several other STDs within five months of joining the industry, argued for the new regulations.

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