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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CALIFORNIA: Activists Collect Ballot Signatures for Condom Measure
Rong-Gong Lin II
January 3, 2012
Los Angeles Times (01.03.12) - Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Today in front of the Van Nuys office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will kick off a petition drive asking county voters to mandate condom use in the pornography industry.

The ballot measure would "require producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee" to fund enforcement; it is modeled after health permit requirements for tattoo shops, massage parlors, and bathhouses. AHF qualified a similar measure for the city's June ballot; however, it faces a legal challenge.

AHF President Michael Weinstein said the county Board of Supervisors has "steadfastly refused" to protect porn performers by taking action against producers who do not use condoms in filming. "The county has a primary responsibility of protecting the public health," he said. "So we will take it to the voters." Yaroslavsky's district includes the San Fernando Valley, home to the multibillion-dollar porn industry. Last February, the supervisor said the state, not the county, is responsible for acting to protect adult film performers. If law enforcement is empowered to conduct sting operations, "all you've got to do is make one or two arrests and the rest of the ... industry will understand pretty quickly that there's a risk." But Weinstein pointed out the county's role in protecting workers from other occupational health hazards. He noted fire departments supervise film crews using pyrotechnics, and workers building skyscrapers are required to wear safety harnesses.

To qualify for the November 2012 election, more than 200,000 signatures will be needed by June 5.