FSC Responds to AHF Claims in L.A. County Porn-Condom Proposal
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition responded today to AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s press conference concerning voter support for a Los Angeles County-mandated condom law.
The AHF said it has collected the signatures — 235,000 — it needs to get the measure on the November ballot.
The "Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act" would require porn makers to get county health permits that would mandate condom use as part of the deal. The law would be modeled after regulations that apply to massage parlors and bath houses.
But FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said that a poll showing that 63 percent of county voters supporting the measure "is a failed attempt to distract from the real issue that adult production has no impact or influence on the rate of HIV in L.A. County.”
“The county itself has proven time and time again that HIV rates in L.A. County are not influenced by adult film production,” said Duke, who pointed to an epidemiological profile commissioned by the county in 2009.
In that document, Duke reciting the working, says, “The intent of the profile is to synthesize recent research and surveillance data, as well as highlight changing patterns and emerging trends, in order to assist planning bodies and service organizations to target their HIV prevention and care efforts.”
"Nowhere in the 152-page profile is the adult film industry cited as a contributing factor to L.A. County’s rate of HIV," she said.
What is cited as contributing factors are poverty, high unemployment, lack of affordable housing, homelessness and the lack of healthcare for L.A. County’s uninsured, Duke said.
“A conservative estimate is that AHF, using paid signature gatherers, will spend nearly 2 million dollars getting the county ordinance on the ballot and millions more on a campaign,” Duke said. “Imagine how many of those uninsured L.A. County residents could have been educated, tested and treated with those resources.
"History has shown us that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults does not work. The best way to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs is by providing quality information and sexual health services.”
Duke said that the FSC doubts that residents in the county want to use "valuable taxpayer dollars to create a county bureaucracy developed solely to monitor adult performers for an issue that has no impact on the county whatsoever."
“Ironically, if condoms were mandatory existing testing protocols would likely disappear. The protocols that are in place are here to protect the performers and successfully do so. Performer health and safety is a priority for the adult film industry which is why the industry’s standards and self regulation has been so successful."
Duke pointed to the industry’s low rate of STI transmission and no on set transmission of HIV in the industry in more than five years.
“It’s time for AHF to stop blaming the adult entertainment industry for its lack of efficacy in the provision HIV education of health services," Duke said "If AHF isn’t going to use the resources it gets from state and local governments and its donors wisely, then perhaps those resources should go to the other AIDS organizations who understand and will stay focused on their mission.”