LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) filed a formal ‘Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards’ complaint yesterday with Cal/OSHA (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health), the state’s health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, against Bay Area adult film production company Kink Studios, LLC and Kink.com, over recent filming that may have exposed employees—adult film performers—to infectious disease by exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. Early last week, the industry halted production and declared a moratorium on filming after a female performer involved in the Kink filming disclosed that she was HIV-positive and had apparently sero-converted since her last HIV test in July.
“The landscape around adult film has changed dramatically in the last two weeks, to the point that action to protect adult film performers from disease is more urgent now than it has ever been. We sadly now have this latest adult performer infected with HIV—the basis for our Cal/OSHA complaint—a previous case of Hepatitis C found in another performer and a recent industry-wide syphilis scare,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “At the same time, a federal court recently ruled that requiring worker safety protections such as condoms in porn is constitutional. As such, we believe it is imperative that the California Legislature act this year to enact real protections for adult film performers.”
AHF previously filed similar worker safety complaints with Cal/OSHA beginning in August 2009 against 16 California-based adult film companies, and in the years since, filed additional complaints specifically targeting Steve Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment as well Larry Flynt’s Hustler Video. To date, Cal/OSHA has opened investigations into several of the companies, has cited and fined several, and is still evaluating and considering additional investigations of some of the remaining companies.
The complaints targeting Kink.com and Kink Studios LLC were submitted to officials at the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. AHF’s Cal/OSHA complaint documents that the film in question (shot on July 31, 2013) demonstrates unsafe—potentially life-threatening—behavior in a California workplace, as the sexual acts filmed without participating performers using condoms depict the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids.
Court Ruling on Condoms, Uptick in STDs in Industry Prompt Renewed Call for State Legislation
This uptick in reports of various infections among performers in the adult industry and the court ruling by Judge Dean Pregerson, U.S. District Court, Central District of California [Case No. 13-00190 DDP (AGRx)], that found that the requirement that porn actors wear condoms during the production of adult films was constitutional has prompted a renewed call for statewide California legislation to protect all adult film performers.
Assembly Bill 640, a bill introduced by California Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III will require condom use in all adult films produced in California.
Last year, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the bill’s sponsor, successfully spearheaded Ballot Measure B, the ‘County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,’ - also known as the ‘condoms in porn’ measure, which Los Angeles County voters overwhelmingly approved - 57% to 43% - in the November 2012 election.
Hall and AHF believe workers in the adult film industry are entitled to the same safeguards and worker protections that any employee in California is. AHF is urging concerned Californians to contact California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: firstname.lastname@example.org and California Assembly Speaker John Perez: email@example.com about AB 640, urging that they both support this important legislation. To send an e-letter to the legislators, click here.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly 230,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.