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Los Angeles Times
Cal/OSHA opens probe into studio after actress tests positive for HIV
<p>Abby Sewell</p>
August 31, 2013

Agency opens investigation into San Francisco-based Kink Studios in response to a complaint from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The state agency overseeing workplace safety has opened an investigation into an adult film studio over a shoot involving an actress who last week tested positive for HIV.

Cal/OSHA opened the investigation last week into San Francisco-based Kink Studios, which runs a network of fetish sites, in response to a complaint filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, agency spokesman Greg Siggins said.

Adult film production came to a halt after the actress, who works under the screen name Cameron Bay, tested positive for HIV in one of the industry's regular required screenings for sexually transmitted diseases.

Free Speech Coalition, an industry trade association, said Wednesday that all performers who had worked with Bay tested negative and that shooting could resume. The coalition maintained there was no evidence the actress had contracted the infection on the set.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which advocates mandatory condom use in the adult entertainment industry, filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA on Monday relating to a Kink shoot that Bay performed July 31 — her last performance before the HIV test.

Bay had tested negative four days before that shoot.

The foundation said in its complaint that the production involved acts "considered high-risk for the transmission of HIV" and that as the "workplace activities are highly likely to spread blood-borne pathogens in the workplace, the Division may, and should, require KINK.COM to take immediate measures for the protection of employees, including the use of condoms during the production of adult films."

Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for the foundation, said the group is not necessarily contending that Bay contracted or exposed other people to HIV during the shoot, but he added: "The activities that were depicted were dangerous, and there was no condom use."

Kink spokesman Mike Stabile said the company had given OSHA inspectors access to the former National Guard armory that houses its studios and had walked them through the company's safety protocols.

He said that although the moratorium had been lifted, the company decided to "err on the side of caution" and had not yet resumed shooting.

Kink owner Peter Acworth said in a statement that OSHA inspectors went to the studio Tuesday, adding: "The complaint was not based on any actual issues from that shoot but was filed by the AHF as part of their larger objection to the industry in general.

"Regardless, performer safety is not an issue to be taken lightly, and we were happy to take Cal/OSHA into the armory and discuss our safety protocols, which are some of the most stringent in the industry."

OSHA can impose fines of up to $70,000 for workplace safety and health violations, and in some cases can seek criminal penalties.

The Los Angeles County public health department is also investigating the HIV case.

A measure passed last year by L.A. County voters mandating condom use in adult film productions is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. Separately, advocates are hoping state legislators will pass a bill that would extend the mandate to films shot throughout California.