The Adult Video News Awards and Entertainment Expo is back in Las Vegas this week, and with more than 30,000 attendees and 180 exhibitors, the X-rated event is enjoying its largest turnout in years. But news that a condom mandate for adult entertainers could come to Southern Nevada has people concerned the region’s potential porn boom might be over before it begins.
After reports surfaced late last year that two male performers were diagnosed with HIV after a gay porn shoot in Nevada, state health officials are considering tighter safety regulations on porn sets, including requiring condoms.
A similar mandate in Los Angeles County a few years back compelled some adult film companies to move production elsewhere. A growing number in the $6 billion [sic] industry are choosing Las Vegas. The city’s appeal has only increased after an appeals court upheld the Los Angeles ordinance in December.
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials now are considering adopting regulations for the adult film industry similar to those used in Nevada’s legal brothels, including condom use and regular testing. There has never been a reported transmission of HIV in a Nevada brothel.
Other potential options include mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and requiring permits for adult filming. Unlike Los Angeles County, which closely tracks and regulates shoots, Nevada requires no permits or notification for filming on private property.
“(There’s) no timeline at this point,” Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Mary Woods said. “Regulations can take up to two years but ideally less than that. Any regulation will require a series of public workshops and enough time to allow and incorporate feedback.”
People in porn say comparing movie production to brothels isn’t fair.
“It’s not the same,” said Michael Stabile, a spokesman for the San Francisco-based adult film company Kink, which has an office in Las Vegas. “[In brothels,] you’re dealing with an untested public. [Condom use] makes much more sense for brothels than adult film sets, where performers are getting tested regularly.”
Performers also argue that using condoms during long shoots can result in breakage and microscopic abrasions that can make them more susceptible to infection.