AHF to Gather Signatures for Condom Initiative, FSC Responds

Aug 16, 2011 12:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it’s taking its condoms in porn initiative to the voters of Los Angeles because local, state and county officials refuse to take responsibility of condom enforcement on adult production sets.

AHF held a press conference this morning to officially announce the launch of a city ballot initiative that will allow voters to weigh in on measure that would require adult productions that apply for film permits to use condoms.

AHF President Michael Weinstein said officials in all levels of government need to enforce the laws and regulations that are already in place.

AHF said it has launched For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR), a corresponding campaign to help gather signatures and move the ballot initiative process forward.

“I have a responsibility in my hometown to limit the spread of disease and to protect performers in the adult industry,” Weinstein said.

“We’re bringing it to the people of L.A. We’ve hired special signature gatherers and the voters will decide.”

Several former adult performers were also on hand to show their support of the initiative including Darren James, Derrick Burts, Shelley Lubben, Jan Meza and Jenni Case.

They spoke about how they contracted various STDs during their time in porn and all agreed that condoms should be mandatory.

“I believe condoms should be enforced,” Case said. “I ask people to take action.”

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said that the Department of Public Health has already stated in response to a lawsuit filed by AHF that it doesn't see a compelling public interest to require the use of condoms in adult productions.

"Clearly AHF has an anti-adult industry agenda and like its previous frivolous lawsuits, erroneous charges with Cal/OSHA, multiple press conferences and protests, I suspect that this is the next step in AHF’s attempt to stay relevant," Duke said.

"Clearly their efforts and financial resources would be much better served in the prevention and treatment of HIV rather than continuing its witch hunt of the adult entertainment industry."

The FSC also said that it will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars to sort out what the City Attorney has already called a "non-issue."

"It's an absurd attempt at grandstanding by AHF and its president Michael Weinstein," said Joanne Cachapero, FSC's membership director. "A judge has already ruled against AHF's attempt to force the city to enforce mandatory condoms, stating that the city cannot be compelled to enforce regulations that fall under the authority of a state agency like Cal/OSHA. 

"What a huge waste of resources for the people of California and for AHF's contributors, while Weinstein carries on a campaign of misinformation."

The FSC also said that the performers who appeared at today's press conference do not represent the population in the adult industry and claims that they contracted HIV or other diseases while working on adult productions are "unfounded."

"The data that AHF presents to the media has been debunked as inaccurate and is the result of methodology that has no basis in science," Cachapero said.

"There is no public health threat or epidemic, as Weinstein likes to portray. The adult production industry has been very successful at protecting performers' health and safety ever since the first incidence of HIV infection in 1998, and we continue to be a model for STI testing.

"The only logical reason that AHF would continue its campaign must be to bring attention to their own pro-condom agenda," Cachapero said.

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