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Condoms now mandatory for LA porn stars

Porn stars will now be required to wear condoms while shooting films in Los Angeles, under the city's new proposed rules. Film LA, which issues permits for shooting in LA, said that about five per cent of the 45,500 permit days they give out annually are for porn shoots.

The city council's measure means porn producers would have to provide and require the use of condoms on set in order to obtain permits to film in America's second-largest city. The council voted 11-1 for the proposal earlier this week, but the plans still require a second vote next week for final approval.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been calling for mandatory condom use in adult films and urged council members to approve the 'ordinance'. "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," the Daily Mail quoted Foundation president, Michael Weinstein, as saying after the initial vote.

However, Free Speech Coalition, the porn industry's trade association, issued a statement criticising 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," Diane Duke, the coalition's executive director, was quoted as saying.

She said 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 Free Speech Coalition opposes mandatory condom regulations but favors consistently testing adult film performers for sexually transmitted diseases.

According to Duke, 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. Before that, 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.

However, Duke and others allege he contracted HIV outside the workplace, and so do not count Burts' case as an industry-caused illness. He denies those allegations and called the council vote 'a huge, huge step in the right direction'.

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