Porn actors must wear condoms, LA votes

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(CBS/AP) Condoms may soon be the newest addition to the cast of the porn industry. The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved Tuesday an ordinance that requires porn actors to wear condoms during film shoots.

PICTURES - Derrick Burts: HIV-positive porn actor calls for condom use

The council voted 11-1 for the proposal, but the ordinance will need a second vote next week for final approval.

Under the ordinance, porn producers would have to provide and require the use of condoms on set in order to obtain permits to film in the nation's second-largest city.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has long fought for mandatory condom use in adult films, but an initiative has never been approved. Approval of this ordinance would be a first.

"This long struggle to move us to a place of making Los Angeles a safe place to make adult films has taken a huge leap forward today," said foundation President Michael Weinstein.

The Free Speech Coalition is not as supportive. The porn industry's trade association, the organization issued a statement criticizing the vote and the incursion of government into sex films.

"Government regulation of filmmaking would likely undermine existing health and safety efforts and industry standards that are effective as well as take the government into dangerous new territory," said Diane Duke, coalition executive director.

According to Duke, the porn industry has a low rate of sexually transmitted disease and there has been no transmission of HIV in the industry in five years. The most recent HIV scare in the industry came when a male performer initially tested HIV positive, but retesting revealed he was free of the disease in September 2011, she said. The coalition does not support mandatory condoms but favors consistently testing adult film performers for sexually transmitted diseases.

Porn actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed HIV-positive in December 2010 after working in gay and straight porn for a few months. Burts said he contracted the disease through those performances, but Duke believes he contracted HIV outside the workplace.

Burts denies those allegations and called the council vote Tuesday "a huge, huge step in the right direction."

The ordinance doesn't involve just the government. The council also agreed to form a group comprised of law enforcement, state occupational safety regulators, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other stakeholders to hammer out how to enforce the new rules. The council also voted unanimously to drop a lawsuit filed by the city attorney against foundation's proposed ballot measure.

According to the CDC, latex condoms are "highly effective" at preventing HIV transmission, and have been shown to reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases including, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. A lesser degree of protection is provided for genital ulcer diseases -including herpes and syphilis - or HPV, because these infections may be transmitted by exposure to areas that are not covered or protected by the condom.

  • CBS News Staff

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