Porn film production on hold after Los Angeles syphilis cases

Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:18pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A porn industry trade group has announced a U.S. moratorium on production of adult sex films after several reported cases of syphilis among adult film actors, adding to the pressure on porn producers to require the use of condoms on sets.

The actors can return to work in 10 days after taking antibiotics, and doctors have recommended treating all adult film actors as a precaution, the Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition said in a statement on its website late on Monday.

It added that filming had been halted since the weekend.

"Clearly our industry's priority is the health and well-being of our performers," Diane Duke, the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, said in the statement.

Porn producers in the Los Angeles area -- the heart of the U.S. adult film industry and home to an estimated 1,000 performers -- are under pressure to ensure condom use on sets to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Existing California workplace laws already mandate the use of condoms by porn performers, but critics say that statute is not specifically aimed at the industry and is widely flouted.

A Los Angeles ballot initiative in November will ask voters to force the county health department to require condom use by adult film performers.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said his agency was investigating less than a dozen reported cases of syphilis involving the adult film industry.   Continued...