On Saturday, a Los Angeles-based trade group representing the adult-film industry called for a nationwide moratorium on productions due to a possible syphilis outbreak. The temporary stop in filming would allow the “entire population” of adult-film performers - more than 1,000 people - to be tested, the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) said on its website.
“A determination will be made by the doctors on the appropriate time to lift the moratorium as more information is revealed,” FSC said.
One day earlier, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department announced an investigation of a cluster of possible industry-related syphilis cases. LACPHD said it had received reports of at least five cases involving adult-film performers within a week.
The president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein, said Monday the issue proves the adult-film industry cannot self-regulate. “I can’t think of any other [workplace] where there’s an acceptable level of transmissible diseases as a normal course of business,” AHF General Counsel Tom Myers said. “We don’t settle for that in food preparation. We don’t settle for that in factories.”
Los Angeles city officials hope residents will approve Measure B, a countywide proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot requiring condom use for adult-film sex scenes. The city earlier this year passed an ordinance for adult-film production inspections, and Measure B would allow the county health department to conduct them. Plans on an enforcement strategy are making progress, Weinstein said.
FSC Executive Director Diane Duke would not agree to an interview, but in a statement criticized the creation of “new bureaucracy” as a waste of taxpayer resources amid city service cuts and budget problems.
Adult-film producers make performers pay for their own STD testing and require syphilis screening only twice a year, Weinstein said.
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