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More porn HIV cases disclosed

L.A. County health officials say at least 16 performers have been infected in addition to one reported this week. That brings the number of HIV cases in porn performers to 22 in the last five years.

June 12, 2009|Kimi Yoshino and Rong-Gong Lin II

Since 2004, 2,378 people who identified themselves as adult film industry performers have tested positive for chlamydia in Los Angeles County. An additional 1,357 tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to data released Thursday by the county's health department.

Public health experts tried again in 2007 and 2008 to require condom use in adult films, but no lawmaker agreed to sponsor legislation, said Paula Tavrow, an assistant professor at UCLA's School of Public Health. But porn industry executives and officials, including its advocacy group the Free Speech Coalition, argue that they do a good job of self-regulation and say that the rates of HIV infection remain low. If laws are passed requiring condom use, they said, porn production would be pushed underground or outside California.

John Stagliano, a former porn star and president of Evil Angel productions, said: "The market determines whether or not this will be shown. A government agency the size of Los Angeles couldn't stop it. It's not going to change."

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kimi.yoshino@latimes.com

ron.lin@latimes.com

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, June 14, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Porn HIV cases: In an article in Friday's Section A on HIV cases among adult film performers, special counsel Amy Martin of the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health was misidentified as Kim Martin.

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