L.A. County Health Dept. Issues Letter to Producers

Gretchen Gallen
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Health Dept. issued a letter this week containing recommendations for the use of condoms on adult film sets.

The letter was issued by the office of Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer, and urges adult film producers to employ specific workplace practices to prevent the spread of HIV.

The letter from Fielding comes on the heels of a $30,560 citation issued by Cal-OSHA in mid-September against Evasive Angles and TT Boy Productions for allegedly allowing actors to perform unprotected sex scenes and failing to comply with the bloodborne pathogen standard.

According to sources, the letter was received by a long list of producers and has set nerves on edge over what the next move will be from the health department and whether Cal-OSHA will be able to extend its jurisdiction over the adult film industry's use of independent contractors.

The following letter was sent to adult producers:

Dear Sir or Madam:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the recommendations of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS) on workplace practices to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among adult film industry performers.

The recommendations include consistent condom use, routine periodic STD/HIV screening, hepatitis A and B vaccination, and worker education. While condoms cannot be considered 100% effective in preventing disease transmission, the correct and consistent use of latex condoms will greatly reduce the risk of HIV and STD transmission. Condoms used in conjunction with the other recommended measures will significantly reduce occupational risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV or another STD

Based on our investigation of the March 2004 adult film industry HIV outbreak in Los Angeles, we recommend that you enact the following: (1) condom use for all penetrative sexual acts, including oral sex; (2) frequent medical monitoring, that includes routine screening for HIV and other STD’s; (3) vaccination of non-immune performers for hepatitis A and B; and (4) ongoing education and training for all adult film industry performers, producers and directors on work-related exposure and risk of acquisition of HIV and STD.

The LAC DHS is currently working with Cal/OSHA, the California STD and AIDSprograms, National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a model exposure control plan. When this has been finalized we will make it available to the adult film industry. In the meantime, the LAC DHS is available to provide technical assistance to the industry. Please contact Robert Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, Director, Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at (213) 989-7161.

Sincerely,

Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., M.P.H. Director of Public Health and Health Officer.