LOS ANGELES — While guests and celebrities were being feted at a gala party at The Abbey in West Hollywood on Saturday night, the No on Government Waste Committee, opponents to Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot in L.A. County, applauded the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for advocating the importance of frequent testing in controlling the spread of HIV.
“We are heartened that AHF has put such an emphasis on frequent testing to help control the spread of HIV," said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. "It’s only through the frequent and thorough testing of performers in the adult film industry that we have been able to maintain a zero infection rate on-set since 2004.
“Organizations from the World Health Organization to the National Centers for Disease Control to AHF have long maintained the importance of frequent testing and counseling in controlling the spread of HIV.”
According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers, both of whom did not contract the disease on-set, according to the Committee. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set. With the industry’s strict testing protocols – requiring testing at least every 14 and 28 days for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation, the Committee says.
“Even though passage of Measure B significantly raises costs to the county and potentially cripples community health programs, we are hopeful AHF would publicly commit to divert more of its ample government-funded resources to better serve African-American, Latino and economically disadvantaged communities where, according to the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health, sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise,” Lee added. “In fact, maybe they can donate the convertible Fiat 500 being given away by Santa Monica Fiat to a community clinic in Southeast LA that is underfunded.”
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 what the Committee calls "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, the Committee said.