Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley is a huge hub for American pornography production. And now, a vote by Los Angeles officials has begun to clear the way for mandatory condom use on every pornographic film set in the city.
According to LA Weekly, "L.A. leaders are pondering a law that would make mandatory condom use a condition of permitting porn shoots inside city boundaries. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Monday hailed the City Council's recent vote to have the L.A. City Attorney's office to look into whether the condom requirement would be feasible. If the lawyers give it a green light, the rule could get a vote next month." The publication points out that condom use on pornography productions is already legally mandated but that the state of California "says it doesn't have the resources to enforce the rule."
As the New York Times reports, the pornography industry has "has largely been allowed to police itself," but a recent scare over a performer who tested HIV-positive has added new concerns and urgency to the condom issue.
An AIDS scare over a decade ago caused the industry to create its own health clinic, which recently closed in the wake of this latest incident. The Times reports, "over the years, county health officials had clashed with the clinic, accusing it of failing to cooperate with investigators and of failing to protect not only industry workers but their sexual partners."
The industry has pushed back against the condom mandate. According to LA Weekly's report, "industry leaders have said if condoms are strictly enforced production will go out-of-state and underground, where conditions will be even less safe for performers." And the Times elaborates, "filmmakers also oppose any new regulations because they say that sales drop when performers use condoms and that regulations are difficult to enforce on the set."
Despite the industry's objections, performers may soon be compelled to use condoms whether they like it or not.