AIDS Healthcare Foundation Wants L.A. to Pull Film Permits for Porn Shoots
From a 2009 adult film shoot (Photo by Koga/LAist)
News of an actor who has tested positive for HIV has put the spotlight on a heated debate between the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the adult entertainment industry. Although a quarantine has gone into effect and four production companies have voluntarily shut down for the time being, the nonprofit says it's not enough.
“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,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which will send speakers to tomorrow's L.A. City Council meeting to request the temporary suspension of filming permits for porn shoots.
“AHF calls on Film L.A. and the City of Los Angeles to 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,” continued Weinstein. “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.”
Meanwhile, others think the mainstream media is blowing the news out of proportion. “I think it’s unfair that our industry is cast in a negative light. They don’t understand. They think, ‘Oh, this happens because they’re in porn,'" actor Brooke Haven told XBIZ News, an industry trade. “We’re the safest people out there. We’re cleaner than the average person because we get tested regularly. A lot of people who aren’t in porn don’t get tested and could be infected and passing it around without evening knowing about it.”
Still, some are concerned with the industry standard for testing: Adult Industry Medical in Sherman Oaks. Actors like Courtney Cummz went to the clinic this week to get tested, but also find out which actors were placed on the quarantine list. AIM would not release that information. “AIM should let us know who is impacted, because we could have shot content with them and they forgot to add to the list,” she told the Daily Beast. “Or they could be one of my friends’ booty calls. You just don’t know.”
Health advocates have called for forcing companies to use condoms, but some fear that would send the industry out of state or the country. The industry employs an estimated 6,000 non-actors and pumps in an estimate $4 billion back into the local economy.