Politicians who make porn stars wear condoms ignore the real HIV fight

Jun 27, 2014
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If porn performers had a health and safety mantra, “your health is your wealth” would probably be it. Which is why it’s worth taking seriously the many “porn stars” who oppose a California bill allegedly designed to better protect their health and safety by mandating condom use and the reporting of sexually-transmitted infections tests in the porn industry.20140627-215551-78951631.jpg

The legislation – which the state assembly passed in May and cleared one of two necessary state Senate committees here on Wednesday – requires that performers use condoms during filmed anal and/or vaginal sex scenes and employers provide information that they did so; that employers pay for HIV testing; that performers consent to disclose to the state’s occupational safety board that they took HIV tests; and that the board can require employers to disclose “any additional information” they require (which presumably will be the results of any positive tests). The stated purpose of the bill is to reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and HIV because, its authors claim, “the industry has never offered a single reasonable suggestion to universally protect its workers and now opposes the very STD testing protocol that they developed and inconsistently use”.

Aside from the civil liberties issues raised by reporting highly inflammatory personal health information to a government agency, there are two key questions raised by the legislation. The first is whether the private porn industry really needs to comply with a new law because legislators want to “protect” them, given the low rate of industry HIV infection compared to the population at large. The second is why the California State Senate is so concerned about porn industry rates of HIV infection when, as porn performer Jiz Lee testified on Wednesday, “this effort isn’t helping communities who are actually at risk”.

Quite simply, the porn-condom mandate is a red herring in the real fight against HIV/AIDS. And on pride weekend in San Francisco, you might even call it a sham.

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

They essentially had it right before and they’ve got it right again. I wish every senator who voted for this thing had to sit down and read this piece so they could personally answer the questions it so trenchantly raises. I think the room would get very quiet.

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[…] Aside from the civil liberties issues …read more     […]

Jody Williams
Jody Williams
6 years ago

I know for a fact that many of these women in these Asian massage parlors are seeing up to 10 or more men a day. They have no HIV training, and they are not using condoms. Further, they are doing “table showers” regularly. With the outbreak of the killer staph MRSA – there are no gyms and high school lockers rooms where 19 year old healthy teen boys are died in 24 hours from this infection which is transmitted wherever there are wounds and wet towels and things like moist air. I remember Brandon Lee accidentally shot his head off… Read more »

Jody Williams
Jody Williams
6 years ago

I’m going to start going to knock on doors and go visit Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Hall and the legislators in person. I’m going to become their new “best friend”. Anyone want to come with me? I’m going to record this and post on social media. We have to get social pressure.

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