AIDS Healthcare Announces Cal/OSHA Complaint

Tod Hunter
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Representatives of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation held a press conference today to announce the organization's plans to file a Cal/OSHA complaint against 16 adult production companies for not using condoms — or other protection against bodily fluid exchange — in productions.

AHF President Michael Weinstein told XBIZ that the actual delivery of the 17-page complaint had not been scheduled: "It's just a formality."

AHF counsel Brian Chase told attendees at the press conference, "In any other context, being paid for sex is a crime. The California Supreme Court is the only state supreme court that has held that in the context of making adult films, paying someone for sex is not a crime. The California state government gives an extraordinary level of protection to the producers of adult films. What we're asking is that the California state government take similar steps to protect performers in adult films."

Other speakers included former adult performers Shelly Lubben and Jan Mazza of the Pink Cross Foundation.

During the question-and-answer period, one mainstream reporter said to Weinstein, "Twenty-five years after the explosion of AIDS in America, we're still dealing with this issue. Public awareness about practices of safe sex is well documented. What's the role of personal responsibility? Why don't actors simply say, 'I'm not going to do this, no amount of money is worth risking my life for'? Why don't you mobilize the actors and actresses, since they're the people on the front lines? Why are you bringing in the industry when it seems to be more about personal responsibility?"

Weinstein responded that the responsibility for the work environment was with the employer, and Cal/OSHA is the regulating body for workplaces. "We're asking them to do their job."

"We also put a special burden on people who make a profit from an activity. If you make a profit from banking, you're not supposed to abuse that privilege by usurious practices," Weinstein said. "We say that if you're running a factory manufacturing goods, you aren't supposed to abuse that privilege by harming the workers."

After the press conference, Weinstein told XBIZ that "As long as we can keep it in the public eye, we're moving closer to the goal: condoms in porn."

Weinstein told XBIZ that future plans for the organization include taking up the condoms-in-adult issue with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, and pursuing a class-action suit on behalf of performers, "Those who want to be a part of it."

The press conference was held at the top-floor ballroom at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, which overlooks the headquarters of Vivid Entertainment.