Duke Shoots Back at Legislator After He Blasts FSC

Rhett Pardon

SACRAMENTO  — Assemblyman Isadore Hall today blasted the Free Speech Coalition for lifting the moratorium on adult film production after a confirmed HIV transmission of a performer.

But Diane Duke, the FSC's chief executive who lifted the industry moratorium for performers last night, quickly shot back this evening, saying the legislator "has it wrong again." 

Hall, a Compton, Calif., lawmaker who authored two pieces of legislation of consequence to the porn industry, AB 332 and the accelerated "urgent" bill AB 640, has pushed for a statewide mandatory condom policy for shoots for most of the year.

Hall ramped up the drive after several keys rulings were decided involving Measure B, the Los Angeles County Safe Sex ordinance, and after it was disclosed that performer Cameron Bay tested HIV-positive, press secretary Terry Schanz told XBIZ.

Today, Hall called the FSC's decision to lift the industry's self-imposed moratorium on adult film production without requiring condoms "dangerous and irresponsible."

"The Free Speech Coalition is great at putting out a press release, but sadly, they are horrible at understanding science," Hall said in a statement today. "The fact is it can take up to three months for a person with HIV to test positive. For those with HIV, use of current HIV medication can also bring viral loads below detectable levels, leaving fellow actors and the public susceptible to this deadly disease.

"The industry’s testing only policy has failed. The fact is a voluntary testing only policy is as effective at preventing the spread of STDs as a pregnancy test is at preventing pregnancy. Short of requiring condoms in all adult films, STD transmission in the adult film industry will continue and California workers will continue to be exposed to injury, harm and potentially death."

Hall said in his statement that he called upon the Free Speech Coalition and the adult film industry to join in supporting the accelerated AB 640, which would require condoms in all adult films produced in California.

"No more stalling, no more excuses, no more lies," he said. "Too much time has been wasted while California workers have been harmed. The time to act is now.”

Duke, in a response this evening to XBIZ, said that a three-doctor panel, including an infectious disease specialist with over 40 years experience, a surgeon with a degree from Stanford and a medical professor and director of a family health clinic worked together to decide the terms for lifting the moratorium. 

"Hall’s reference of up to three months to detect HIV refers to tests that were used in the 1990s," she told XBIZ. "The tests that are utilized in the adult industry are FDA-approved cutting-edge tests. 

"The adult industry recently reconfirmed its commitment to HIV RNA Aptima testing when one of the head microbiologists at Labcorp (a leading national laboratory) presented HIV test options to the PASS medical advisory board of six physicians. 

"The window period for this test is seven to 10 days, not three months.  It’s time to roll into the 21st century, Mr Hall."

Duke continued, "As little as Assemblymember Hall knows about science, he knows even less about adult productions. Performers have stated over and over again that they prefer the industry’s test and stop protocols that have proven successful with no transmissions since 2004, and again in this case with all of performers' set partners testing negative.

"Assemblymember Hall has taken a bill that passed out of the Assembly as a tobacco bill and is rewriting it to make it a mandatory condom bill. A similar bill was held in Appropriations because they understood that wasting taxpayer dollars on non-issue legislation was the ultimate in irresponsibility. 

"AB 640 is a lie, it is a joke, and it will waste taxpayer dollars that are desperately needed elsewhere."

View Assembly Bill 640