A detailed analysis of the adult entertainment industry’s medical testing database reveals only 280 performers live and work year-round in Los Angeles County and make up the bulk of scenes shot and subject to the provisions of Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6th ballot in Los Angeles County, dramatically underscoring the miniscule effect the measure would have with significant cost to county taxpayers, according to the No on Government Waste Committee.
“It’s mindboggling to think we are subjecting the voters of LA County to this ballot fight over 280 performers that are already subject to one of the most stringent sexually transmitted disease testing programs in the world,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “When you couple that with the over $4 million already spent by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in supporting this measure, you have to wonder what kind of porn obsession Michael Weinstein has and what it is taking away from the real threats of HIV.”
The Free Speech Coalition, the adult film industry’s trade association, analyzed the testing database of performers who undergo regular tests for HIV, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea every 14 and 28 days, and determined there were a total of 1,266 performers nationwide with 280 living year-round in Los Angeles County, representing 22 percent of all adult performers. The database represents the vast majority of those affected by Measure B since Measure B would not impact productions, such as amateur shoots, that avoid county permitting or simply operate out of someone’s home.
“This points up the greatest failing of Measure B, which is that it’s practically unenforceable when you consider that productions and performers affiliated with the larger studios and production companies are simply going to move out of LA if Measure B passes,” Lee said. “What you would be left with are small, amateur productions that will not only evade permitting, but also avoid testing and thus put even more people at real risk.”
Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel. The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.
Lee reiterated that no adult performer has contracted HIV on set since 2004 and in the same period, 6,447 residents of Los Angeles County have contracted HIV, highlighting the need to focus on increased testing and detection in the general population where the real HIV threat is today.
“According to the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health’s own HIV risk assessment, the adult film industry wasn’t even mentioned as a potential high risk area, while the highest at-risk population in the County are young, African-American gay men, a population the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has chronically and shamefully underserved,” Lee added.
No on Government Waste Committee
The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit: www.noongovernmentwaste.com.