Condoms May Get Supporting Role in Porn Shot in California

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 The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is poised Thursday to convene a panel to consider amending state law to require condom use in adult film production.

That's the recommendation of bureaucrats being pressured by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

"The adult film industry has steadfastly refused to take any steps to protect its workers from diseases spread by blood borne pathogens, resulting in thousands of employees becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Clarification and enhanced enforcement of the rules are called for," writes Michael Weinstein, the Los Angeles-based foundation's president, in his petition to Occupational Safety.

The foundation has been hawkish on the issue since a 2004 AIDS breakout in the LA porn industry.

Last summer, after learning an adult performer had tested positive for AIDS, the foundation sued LA County, claiming public health officials failed to prevent the spread of disease and protect workers. The lawsuit was dismissed, but the foundation has appealed.

Weinstein in December sent his request to Occupational Safety that it amend the California Code of Regulations to protect workers in the adult film industry.

The state must step in because the porn industry has failed to address the spread of AIDS, which has reached epidemic proportions, according to the petition.

The board's staff agrees serious consideration should be given to Weinstein's petition. However, because he does not represent anyone in the adult industry "and in view of the complexity of the issues," the staff is recommending the convening of an advisory committee to address the issue.

That committee can recommend to the board what changes need to be made to the labor code section and how those changes can be implemented, according to the staff.

This is being brought to the board's attention now because, by state law, it had to respond to Weinstein's petition within six months of receiving it.

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