Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Requests Investigation of Condom Use in Adult Entertainment Industry
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services this week filed a complaint with the Division of Occupational Health and Safety's Cal/OSHA program requesting a formal investigation of the use of condoms in the adult entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Times reports (Liu/Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 4/22). The action follows the decision last week by several adult film companies to halt production for at least 60 days after actor Darren James last week tested positive for HIV. At least 45 performers who may have had unprotected sex with James or his sex partners agreed to a voluntary work quarantine. Actress Lara Roxx, who worked with James on at least one movie, also tested HIV-positive. Preliminary test results on Friday showed that another actress who worked with James also may be HIV-positive (California Healthline, 4/20). Cal/OSHA has six months to complete the investigation, which will be confidential, Cal/OSHA spokesperson Susan Gard said (Liu/Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 4/22). Production companies could be fined up to $25,000 per incident if the agency finds the companies exposed employees to serious health risks, according to the AP/Contra Costa Times (Gentile, AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/22). The county ultimately is seeking enforcement of workplace regulations that would require adult film actors to wear condoms, according to the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, 4/22). The Free Speech Coalition and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, both of which represent the adult entertainment industry, this week met with county health officials to discuss the possible condom policy, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 4/22). Producers of adult films featuring men who have sex with men this week also met with county DHS officials to discuss condom policies (Los Angeles Times, 4/22).
County DHS officials on Wednesday obtained a list of the legal names of 53 adult film actors who had sexual contact with two actors who recently tested HIV-positive or with the sexual partners of those actors, the New York Times reports. The names were obtained as part of an investigation launched Tuesday by county Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding into the spread of HIV in the adult entertainment industry. AIM, which conducts much of the monthly testing, posted on its Web site the stage names of individuals who potentially had been exposed to James, Roxx or one of the actors' sex partners. "We're not happy about this," AIM Executive Director Sharon Mitchell said, adding, "The legal names of our talent have always been held in the strictest of confidentiality and privacy." She said that the foundation released the names "only at the insistence" of county DHS investigators, according to the Times. Fielding said that the "most important task" for investigators was locating people outside the adult movie industry who might have contracted HIV from people inside the industry, according to the Times (Madigan, New York Times, 4/22).
Several California radio stations recently have reported on state and county health officials' move to require condom use in the adult film industry:
- KCET's "Life & Times": The segment examines the work of Mitchell at AIM ("Life & Times," KCET, 4/21). The complete transcript and audio of the segment in RealPlayer will be available online a few days after the broadcast.
- KPCC's "AirTalk": The segment includes comments from Mitchell and adult film producer Jill Kelly (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 4/19). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "AirTalk": The segment includes comments from Fielding and Tim Connelly, publisher of Adult Video News (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 4/21). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "Talk of the City": The segment includes comments from Gard (Felde, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 4/20). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.