AHF Plans to Address L.A. City Council Over HIV Scare

LOS ANGELES — Officials of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation plan to make an appearance today before the Los Angeles City Council, asking them to suspend adult filming because of the HIV crisis that has hit the industry.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials already have called on Film L.A., the agency contracted by the city of Los Angeles to handle film permits, to suspend issuing permits.

But Diane Duke, the Free Speech Coalition's executive director, told XBIZ Thursday night that the AHF's mission will be fruitless.

"The City Council cannot pull permits," she said. "At best they can only make a recommendation. Moreover, all results of testing will not go to the city but L.A. County’s epidemiologist, who is forbidden by law from sharing results."

Duke said that the AHF's decision to appear at City Council amounts to the nonprofit's continual attempt to exploit the situation for political gain.

"AHF is aware of these facts," she said. "Rather than recognizing the industry for going above and beyond what is required, AHF is using this opportunity to continue its never-ending stream of grandstanding."

AHF President Michael Weinstein, in announcing today's plans, said "it is incumbent upon local government officials to protect its citizens and minimize the damage that could be inflicted in the workplace and beyond."

Weinstein said a voluntary or partial suspension of production is simply not enough.

"If this were any other industry and a potentially life-threatening infection was being transmitted and remained uncontained, you can be sure regulatory agencies would have stepped in by now — not leaving it up to the businesses themselves to decide if it is safe for their employees to work or not,” he said.

A Film L.A. spokesman told XBIZ that it did not have the authority to pull adult film producers’ permits.

Film LA logs about 40,000 permitted production days each year in the city and does not track the specific content of each registered shoot, just the genre. As a result Film L.A. can't determine how many permits are issued to adult production companies.

The AHF plans to bring up their request during the public comment period at the City Council meeting.