Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

If approved, new measure could require condom use in porn

Just in time for National HIV month, a new ballot measure seeks to require porn actors and actresses to wear condoms during filming, according to the Los Angeles Times. Voters in the Los Angeles county, which is where the U.S. porn industry is concentrated, will be voting on the topic in the upcoming November elections.

The proposed legislation is supported by AIDS activists who say that these actors are at a high risk of becoming infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. They claim that the industry is not advocating the necessity of safe sex and should be required under federal workplace safety laws to protect their workers from infectious diseases. On the other hand, adult film producers argue that actors have the right to choose whether to use condoms, and either plan on fighting back or moving filming to another location if the measure is passed, LA Times reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are around 50,000 new HIV infections every year in the U.S. The virus survives and replicates in the blood and other bodily fluids and can be transmitted by sexual contact, injection drug use, occupational exposure, childbirth, breastfeeding, blood transfusions and organ transplants.

In the porn industry, actors can spread the virus sexually through semen, pre-seminal and vaginal fluids and rectal mucus.

If the measure is approved by voters, adult film producers will be mandated to get a health permit from the LA County Department of Public Health and to use condoms for vaginal and anal sexual acts. If producers do not abide by the new rules they could be fined or receive misdemeanor criminal charges.

"The lives of these performers are not disposable," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the LA Times. "This industry is sending out the wrong message about safer sex."