LOS ANGELES--(AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) this week filed formal ‘Notice of Safety or Health Hazards’ complaints with Cal/OSHA (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health), the state’s health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, over the lack of condom use in adult films produced by Treasure Island Media, Inc., a Bay Area adult film production company that primarily serves and produces films for the gay market as well as a dozen other production companies producing what are known as ‘bareback’ films—gay adult films in which the performers do not wear condoms. Other producers and companies targeted with AHF’s OSHA complaints include: Bareback Inc./Vineyard Entertainment; Dark Alley Media; HDK International/Hot Desert Knights; Huge Studio/AVNS Inc.; Icarus Entertainment/Raw Pups; Pete’s Distribution; Sparta Video; Spunk Video; Stud Mall; SX Video; Viper Entertainment and Zyloco Inc./Tony & Cam.)--
“We announced last week that we were going after Treasure Island Media, a particularly egregious and outspoken violator of Cal/OSHA safety statutes with its policy of only producing bareback DVDs”
The complaints are AHF’s first targeting the bareback gay market. AHF filed similar worker safety complaints with Cal/OSHA beginning in August 2009 against 16 California-based adult film companies, and in the years since, filed additional complaints specifically targeting Steve Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment as well Larry Flynt’s Hustler Video. To date, Cal/OSHA has opened investigations into several of the companies, has cited and fined several, and is still evaluating and considering additional investigations of some of the remaining companies.
The complaints targeting the gay bareback film industry were submitted to officials at the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Region III in Santa Anta, CA. AHF’s Cal/OSHA complaints document that the films demonstrate unsafe—potentially life-threatening—behavior in a California workplace, as the sexual acts filmed without participating performers using condoms depict the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids.
“We announced last week that we were going after Treasure Island Media, a particularly egregious and outspoken violator of Cal/OSHA safety statutes with its policy of only producing bareback DVDs,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Today, we formally filed the complaints with OSHA and also filed complaints against a dozen other producers of gay bareback porn to press for the equal enforcement of existing state and local workplace regulatory guidelines which already require the use of condoms in their—and all—adult films produced in California.”
History of AHF’s Advocacy for Condom Use in Porn Films in California
Between 2004 and 2010, 23 individuals thought to be connected with adult industry have tested HIV positive with the most recent infection being identified in October 2010; to date, LA County health officials determined that eight of these people were likely infected as a result of their work in the industry.
These statistics and infections served as a catalyst for AHF to develop an ongoing campaign to require the use of condoms in adult films shot in California. As a result, AHF mounted a high profile advocacy campaign directly targeting the industry, including key players like Vivid Entertainment and Hustler it has publicly pressed Los Angeles County political and health officials to comply with the law as far as legal reporting of HIV and STD cases—including those found among performers in the industry—and to require the use of condoms on sets in LA County—as required by Cal/OSHA statute.
In Los Angeles, AHF then spearheaded Ballot Measure B, the so-called condoms in porn measure formally known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, which passed with overwhelming voter support (57% to 43%) in the November 2012 election in Los Angeles County. The measure requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the County; follow all health and safety laws, including condom use; and pay a permit fee sufficient to cover all enforcement costs.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly 200,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.