June 23, 2014

Senator Holly Mitchell
Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations
California State Capitol, Room 5080
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: ASSEMBLY BILL1576: BEYOND AIDS SUPPORT

Dear Senator Mitchell:

Beyond AIDS is pleased to support AB 1576, to provide statewide regulation of infection control for the adult film industry, encompassing the main components of the earlier bills AB 332 and AB 640. This bill will be considered by the Senate Labor Committee on June 25. We believe that both Democrats and Republicans should support this bill, which protects workers in that industry, protects public health, and reduces the promotion of unsafe sexual practices.

Beyond AIDS is a national organization, founded and led from California, dedicated to prevention of HIV/AIDS infections. Some of our leading members have professional expertise on this subject. We are particularly pleased that the bill requires both condom use and a testing program for sexually transmitted diseases, because our scientific experts believe that both are necessary to protect the workers. Neither alone is sufficient.

We have long had concern that infections with HIV among workers have periodically been associated with this industry in California, as have outbreaks of syphilis. Such outbreaks extend beyond these workers and endanger the entire community. Not only is this a worker safety issue, but in the opinion of some of our consultants, the depiction of unsafe sex in the videos and films produced by this large, California-dominated industry has the potential to set an unsafe model for millions of viewers.

AB 1576 is an important bill that will extend safe practices to this industry statewide, which is necessary because there are signs that the industry will otherwise move from county to county to avoid regulation and responsibility for worker safety. The bill includes infection control practices that are already standard in the healthcare industry. The court decision upholding the local ordinance adopted by the voters of Los Angeles County confirms the sound legal basis for this legislation.

We look forward to your aye vote in committee, and later on the floor of the Senate.

Sincerely,

Ron Hattis, MD, MPH
President, Beyond AIDS
Mobile: 909-838-4157; ronhattis@aol.com

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