L.A. Mayor Signs Law Requiring Condoms in Porn Films

Filmmakers are threatening to leave the nation's porn capital because of a new law requiring condom use on set.

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REUTERS / Fred Prouser

Adult film actress Carmen Luvana, her stage name, has a routine HIV blood test drawn by a lab technician at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks, California

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law this week an ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms while performing.

The law will take effect 41 days after it is posted by the city clerk, which could happen before the end of the week, the Associated Press reports.

Porn producers say the regulation may prompt them to leave L.A., which is regarded as the porn capital of the nation. As many as 90% of all porn films produced in the U.S. are made in L.A., mostly in the city’s San Fernando Valley. But porn producers, who insist that films with performers wearing condoms don’t sell as well as those without them, are threatening to move their productions outside of city limits.

The L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation helped write the new law and has advocated for the regulation for many years. The group says condom requirements are crucial for protecting the health of porn actors — a cause that was bolstered by a recent moratorium on production after an L.A. adult-film actor tested positive for HIV.

Production across the industry has been halted several times over the last decade because of concerns over HIV, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two porn performers who were infected with HIV have since become vocal advocates for mandatory condom use.

The industry already requires porn actors to be tested for HIV every 30 days, and many film producers believe that is sufficient to protect health.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is now seeking to establish a similar condom requirement in L.A. County. The group is hoping to get the issue on the ballot for L.A. County voters to consider in the November election, or convince the County Board of Supervisors to pass its own law.

Yet to be determined: how the new law will be enforced. The law will require porn filmmakers to pay a fee, which will then be used to pay for surprise inspections on sets. The AIDS group’s president Michael Weinstein told the AP that spot checks may be done by nurses or other public health providers.

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