AHF Discusses Industry Syphilis Outbreak, Upcoming Ballot Measure

Aug 20, 2012 12:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, in a press conference Monday morning, again called for universal condom use in the porn biz following the latest reports of a possible cluster of syphilis cases among adult film industry performers.

The AHF used the press conference to roll out Measure B, a countywide ballot proposal that would require adult film producers to obtain a public health permit from county health officials as a condition of doing business in Los Angeles.

Measure B would require adult production companies to use condoms and other protective devices and shields to thwart blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Michael Weinstein, who leads the AHF, used the opportunity to ask Los Angeles city leaders to begin collecting fees for its Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry ordinance, which was passed earlier this year but has not been enforced.

He also called on Los Angeles County Public Health officials to start shutting down shoots that aren't complying with current laws.

"The Public Health department has unlimited power," he said. "But so far, the Health Department has been lax."

Weinstein called the possible cluster of syphilis a "general public health concern" and that for the past two years there was an 18 percent increase in syphilis cases nationwide.

XBIZ last week reported that one male performer in the Los Angeles porn community tested positive for syphilis in July and worked three times with a doctored STI test during the past three weeks. That performer has not yet been identified, nor have four others who have tested positive, according to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department

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