Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

LA porn industry still in tug-of-war with organizations over condom law

 

The debate of whether pornography actors should use condoms during production flared up in Aug. 2011 when an actor was falsely diagnosed with HIV. The scare catalyzed a voluntary shut-down of the industry and renewed the question of whether these performers should be using an extra layer of protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The Huffington Post recently presented both sides of the debate, with AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein advocating for mandatory condom use and Vivid Entertainment founder Steve Hirsch saying that such a law is unneeded and could be detrimental to the industry's livelihood.

Weinstein argues that featuring pornography sans condoms not only puts performers at risk of becoming infected with STDs, but also gives younger individuals the idea that practicing unprotected sex is the norm.

"The fact that most straight porn is made without condoms sends a horrible message that the only kind of sex that is hot is unsafe," Weinstein wrote in the HuffPo.

Additionally, he said that California law already states that adult film actors should use condoms when making a production. However, the mandate is rarely enforced. Also, the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration is working to develop guidelines for pornography actors.

On the other side of the debate, Hirsch writes in the news source that instances of HIV infection in the porn industry are very rare and that current testing rules are adequate to prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs.

"Our performers rightfully demand and expect that everyone is tested and we fully agree.  Additionally, performers are constantly educated on how to avoid getting HIV and STDs," Hirsch wrote in the HuffPo.

The news source conducted a reader poll to gauge public opinion on the issue. After reading both sides of the debate, about 64 percent of participants sided with Hirsch, 31 percent agreed with Weinstein and 6 percent were undecided.

Ultimately, California voters may get to decide the issue. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has collected half of the signatures it needs to put the issue on the Nov. 2012 ballot.

According to Advocates for Youth, condoms can be very effective at preventing the spread of HIV when used properly and consistently. However, they tend to be slightly less protective against herpes, syphilis and chancroid, which is a genital ulcer.

Individuals who want to reduce their risk of spreading an infection should seek out STD testing in Los Angeles, California.
 
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