Apr 29, 2016

    Adult film industry in California faces off against health advocates


    CALIFORNIA politics got a bit more racy on Wednesday, as producers and actors in the adult film business said they had formed a political action committee, or PAC, to fight a ballot initiative to require the use of condoms when shooting explicit scenes.

    The move by an industry association representing California's busy pornographers - a US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) industry in the state whose loss could cost the state tens of millions in tax revenues and up to 20,000 jobs - is the latest chapter in a years-long skirmish with public health advocates over how best to prevent sexually transmitted disease among performers of pornography.

    Los Angeles, and especially the San Fernando Valley area, has historically been a hub of porn production. A number of high-profile X-rated performers in the area have suffered HIV infections.

    Nearly a dozen were infected with the HIV virus between 2004 and 2014, according to the Aids Healthcare Foundation, which is backing the ballot initiative.

    The group's measure, which will appear on the November ballot, will require the use of condoms and lubricants on adult film sets.

    It also requires the producers to provide the condoms as well as offer free vaccinations and tests for sexually transmitted diseases to all the performers.

    The measure also would allow performers or other individuals residing in California to ask for a state investigation into whether a particular adult film or video was made using condoms.

    The Aids Healthcare Foundation, which is backing the initiative, has already contributed US$1.5 million to promote it to the public, state records show.