Prop. 60 puts condoms on porn actors, but critics say it’s a barrier to business #NoProp60

Prop. 60 puts condoms on porn actors, but critics say it’s a barrier to business  #NoProp60

On one side of the debate of Proposition 60 stands an AIDS advocacy organization that says a statewide law is needed to keep adult film performers safe from sexually transmitted diseases.

On the other side are the adult film performers themselves. They say such a law will endanger their livelihood.

The two sides have debated the issue for more than five years. At the center of the friction between them sits the protective prophylactic, or condom. The Los Angeles based AIDS Healthcare Foundation says the use of condoms on adult film shoots will improve workplace safety. Actors call that a fantasy.

On Nov. 8, California voters will have a chance to agree or disagree. They’ll decide if condoms should be used during adult film production across the Golden State. If passed, Proposition 60 would make producers have to prove that condoms were used, pay for performers’ workplace-related medical examinations and vaccines and be licensed by Cal/OSHA every two years. They would also be subjected to hefty fines if condoms aren’t used.

“We have huge, continuous increases in sexually transmitted diseases in California and we have a looming crisis in anti-resistant gonorrhea,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and chief proponent of Proposition 60. At the heart of his initiative, he said, is protecting workers from producers who value profit over safety.

“We’ve taken the whole issue of STDs way too lightly,” Weinstein said. “At the end of the day, the issue is the industry is breaking the law and the enforcement we have is poor.”

Sexually transmitted diseases spiked across California in 2015, according to figures released last month by the state’s Department of Public Health. There were 54,255 cases of gonorrhea last year, a 20 percent increase over 2014. Cases of chlamydia and syphilis also rose in 2015 compared with 2014, by 9 percent and 29 percent respectively.

Although some film sets do use condoms, the still largely San Fernando Valley-based industry relies on testing performers for sexually transmitted diseases every 15 days as its standard health protocol. Industry workers say there has been no transmission of HIV for eight years. Performers also have said condoms are impractical because of the nature of the work.

“To be succinct, this is a harmful law couched in rescue rhetoric that stands to benefit one man at the expense of the entire state and the population it’s intended to protect,” said adult film performer Ela Darling, president of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.

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