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Los Angeles Porn Industry Comes to a Screeching Halt over Syphilis Outbreak
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While California workplace laws mandate the use of condoms by porn performers, the statute is aimed at individuals and not the industry. This leads to widespread flouting of the law. Los Angeles, which is home to almost 1,000 porn performers recently found an outbreak of syphilis among porn performers.

While the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is currently investigating close to a dozen reported cases of syphilis involving the adult film industry, the number of unreported cases may be much higher. That the suspicion is not unfounded was proved by the announcement made on Monday, by the Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition, a leading porn industry trade group, calling for a U.S. moratorium on production of adult sex films.

The announcement on the website of Free Speech Coalition mentioned that the actors could return to work in 10 days after taking antibiotics, and that doctors have recommended all adult film actors undergo antibiotic treatment as a precaution. The action of the porn industry trade group is in response to the rising numbers of reported syphilis in the industry.

  
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In her statement, Diane Duke, the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition said, “Clearly our industry’s priority is the health and well-being of our performers.” However, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who said, “It’s not surprising that there would be a lot of cases in the adult film industry, since they are having a lot of unprotected sex and often with multiple partners”, pointed out the lack of use of condoms.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which tries to enforce the use of condoms in the adult film industry did not buy the U.S. moratorium offered by the Free Speech Coalition. AIDS Healthcare President Michael Weinstein said, “They just want to throw and antibiotic blanket over the whole thing.”

The Free Speech Coalition admitted that the syphilis test usually conducted by porn industry doctors was insufficient to diagnose recent infections as the test has a 90-day window. A spokeswoman for the Free Speech Coalition, Joanne Cachapero said that her group “would rather err on the side of caution.” She also added that the group would ensure that “as many performers as possible receive testing and treatment.”

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In November, there is going to be a ballot initiative supported by AIDS Healthcare that would require country health officials to impose the use of condoms in a more constructive manner in the porn industry.





 

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