AHF to LA County Supervisors: Step Up Public Health Oversight of Porn Industry

bloodborne-pathogens1By: AIDS Healthcare Foundation – Los Angeles, CA – October 18, 2010

In the wake of recent news that an adult film performer has tested positive for HIV (the third such episode in the County since 2004), advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will call on members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to step up L. A. County Department of Public Health oversight of the $13 billion industry. AHF officials will also seek clarification from County officials about the process of issuing permits for adult film production shoots, and ask the Supervisors to request that County agencies including the Sheriff’s Department which may issue such permits immediately stop issuing new adult film production permits until the present HIV incident is sorted out.

What:
Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation to press Los Angeles County Supervisors to step up Public Health Department oversight of the adult film industry in light of the latest HIV case, the third such episode since 2004 (also June 2009) (AHF officials will speak in PUBLIC COMMENT)

When:
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2010, 9:30 A.M.

Where:
KENNETH HAHN HALL OF ADMINISTRATION BOARD HEARING ROOM 381B
500 WEST TEMPLE STREET
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90012

Who:
Brian Chase, Assistant General Counsel, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Miki Jackson, Public Policy Consultant, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Communications Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Contact: AHF’s Ged Kenslea, (323) 791-5526 mobile (323) 308-1833 work

On Friday, AHF officials testified before the Los Angeles City Council to ask that Film L.A. , the quasi-government agency overseeing film permitting, immediately stop issuing film permits to the adult entertainment industry and temporarily suspend all porn production until the latest HIV outbreak situation has been resolved. Representatives from AHF will be in attendance at the Los Angeles City Council meeting tomorrow, Friday, October 15th at 10:00 AM to request that temporary suspension of permits.

Since the news regarding a performer testing positive for HIV broke on Tuesday, a voluntary industry quarantine has been in effect and at least five adult film companies have voluntarily stopped production, including some of the larger companies such as Vivid Entertainment and Hustler Video.

“AHF calls the County of Los Angeles to step up its legally-mandated obligation to oversee and enforce existing public health and safety regulations on adult film sets in Los Angeles County and, to the degree it is allowed, temporarily suspend all filming permits for porn production until it is known who has been exposed and until that information has been disclosed to public health authorities,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “In a public health emergency such as this, it is incumbent upon local government officials to protect its citizens and minimize the damage that could be inflicted in the workplace and beyond. If this were any other industry and a potentially life-threatening infection was being transmitted and remained uncontained, you can be sure regulatory agencies would have stepped in by now, not leaving it up to the businesses themselves to decide if it is safe for their employees to work or not.”

“A voluntary and partial suspension of production is simply not enough in light of the seriousness of this latest HIV outbreak in the porn industry—certainly not while it remains unknown just how far the infection may have spread,” added Weinstein.

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