As syphilis outbreak roils L.A.’s adult film industry, health officials, former adult film actors infected with HIV while working in the industry and safer sex advocates will unveil campaign for November ballot measure that will, “…require producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health…and pay a permit fee…sufficient for necessary enforcement.”

The ‘Vote Yes on B’ ballot measure, spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and members of FAIR (‘For Adult Industry Responsibility’), comes at a time when a syphilis outbreak is roiling L.A.’s adult film industry and after at least nine industry-related HIV infections are believed to have happened in two outbreaks since 2004.

‘Yes on Prop B’ Campaign Artwork

At the press conference, backers of campaign will also unveil their first Yes on B’ 30-second television commercial, featuring Darren James and Derrick Burts, two former adult performers who became infected with HIV while working in the industry. The spot will start running on three stations (CNN, MSNBC and FOX) in greater Los Angeles in various day parts with an initial run of over 400 ad placements. In addition, the campaign will feature ‘Vote Yes on B’ billboards, which will also start on Monday September 17th; direct mail post cards targeting specific voting constituencies, a ‘Vote Yes on B’ website and other elements.

“We are pleased to formally launch our ‘Vote Yes on B’ election campaign for the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and one of the five named proponents of the ballot initiative. “This is a prudent public health and safety measure that will require adult film producers operating in the County to obtain public health permits as a condition of doing business here in Los Angeles. In order to do so, producers will have to comply with existing health and safety laws—including condom use in the films they produce—and there will be NO cost to taxpayers, as enforcement will be covered by permit fees paid by the producers. Our initial polling has shown strong support for condom use in these films and we are confident that a majority of voters will see this as the straightforward health and safety measure it is.”

“We are pleased to formally launch our ‘Vote Yes on B’ election campaign for the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act.”
— Michael Weinstein

The measure is modeled on County’s health permit process for nail salons, barbershops, tattoo and massage parlors and bathhouses. At present, there are 134 other categories of businesses or services that require a permit or license from Los Angeles County, and advocates from AHF and FAIR believe that it is not burdensome to require the adult film industry to get similar health permits.