L.A. Judge Rejects Mandatory Condoms on Porn Sets

Dec 23, 2009 11:00 AM PST
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Tuesday rejected the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s request calling for mandatory use of condoms on porn sets.

In his decision, Judge David Yaffe said the county has broad discretion in how it oversees public health and dismissed a petition seeking a court order to compel health officials to require condom use on porn sets or take other reasonable steps to stem the spread of disease.

AHF filed suit in July, just weeks after a performer known as Patient Zero tested positive for HIV and county health officials released data that showed 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis had been reported since 2004 by the AIM Healthcare Foundation.

Of the 18 reported positives, only five came from adult industry performers, one of whom (Patient Zero) contracted HIV off-set and worked with an expired test.

Last week, AHF delivered a petition to the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, asking for a change in regulations over bloodborne pathogens. The petition seeks to require condom use on the porn set.

But in a "preemptive move," the adult film industry's Free Speech Coalition published a draft of its own bloodborne pathogen plan. The FSC’s plan covers worker safety and addresses numerous practices over everything from controlling waste to housekeeping to the cleaning of sex toys. It also addresses training, as well as pre- and post-scene evaluation, and makes examination recommendations for new-to-the-industry performers.

Brian Chase, the AHF’s attorney, told XBIZ while the organization is disappointed with Yaffe’s ruling, the group plans on appealing his decision.

“At the end of the day, this is a new issue for the courts,” Chase said. “The court in the ruling said that Public Health has the discretion to do something about the possible spread of bloodborne pathogens or they could do nothing at all.

“Our contention is that Public Health does have an obligation and that they can’t just sit on their hand for 10 years and do nothing about it.”

Chase noted that AHF will file its appeal 60 days after the final ruling is handed down by Yaffe.

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