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A ballot measure that would require producers of adult films in Los Angeles County to obtain a permit from the Department of Public Health and mandate the use of condoms in scenes involving intercourse will be taken up by the Board of Supervisors today.

The county registrar on May 24 certified more than the required 232,153 of the roughly 360,000 ballot signatures submitted by safer sex advocates. Supervisors now have the option of placing the measure on the November ballot or adopting it outright as written.

The measure, formally known as the "County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,'' would impose the same sort of permitting requirements that govern massage parlors, tattoo shops and bathhouses, according to Ged Kenslea of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is pushing the measure as part of an umbrella group called For Adult Industry
Responsibility (FAIR).

A similar city-wide measure was adopted by the Los Angeles City Council earlier this year. Aiming to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among adult film industry workers, including HIV/AIDS, the AHF and FAIR are waging a campaign to require condom use in adult films shot and produced throughout California. The ballot drive was launched in January.

In addition to requiring condom use, the permitting process would require adult film producers to pay fees and submit proof that they have completed a blood-borne pathogen training course and developed an exposure control plan.

The producers would also be required to post the permit and a notice to performers regarding condom use requirements. Violations of the measure's requirements could result in the suspension or revocation of permits, the imposition of civil fines and the filing of
misdemeanor charges.

The measure's advocates cite county Department of Public Health statistics showing that adult film industry workers are 10 times more likely to be infected with an STD than members of the population at large.

Between 2003 and 2007, 2,013 cases of chlamydia and 965 cases of gonorrhea were documented among L.A County adult film industry workers, and 2,847 STD infections were diagnosed among 1,884 performers between April 2004 and March 2008, according to county figures. the county's health department has also reported up to 25 cases of HIV among adult film industry workers since 2004, according to measure advocates.

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