Leslie introduces bill addressing spread of STDs in porn industry | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Leslie introduces bill addressing spread of STDs in porn industry

Anna Oberthur

SACRAMENTO – After a month in which three adult film actors were diagnosed with HIV, Assemblyman Tim Leslie said Monday he will file a bill aimed at curbing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the industry.

The diagnoses have shaken the Southern California-based pornographic film industry, whose representatives called the bill a “headline grab” that would lower health standards.

Leslie’s bill would mandate STD testing of all performers before production on an adult film can begin and would provide recourse of civil action if a test is falsified. It would also require that performers be tested for HIV every two weeks.

“We need to protect the public health,” said Leslie, a Republican from Tahoe City. “We also need to protect the health of the adult film actors, and while I don’t agree with their lifestyles, they are still people.”

Leslie did not consult with industry representatives while writing the bill and passed up an opportunity to meet with them when they were in Sacramento last week, said Kat Sunlove, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, the adult film industry’s trade group.

“This bill was not developed in any way that reflects a real desire to come up with good public policy,” Sunlove said. “This is really a grab for headlines.”

A mandatory condom requirement could be added to the bill when it goes before an Assembly committee Tuesday, a stipulation that industry officials argue would increase health risks by pushing some producers who don’t want to follow the rule underground.


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