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Porn film industry faces new condom challenge in Florida

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - The organization that successfully pushed a Los Angeles ordinance mandating adult film actors use condoms has set its sights on Florida, saying film companies are skirting the law by shooting in other states.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed a complaint with Florida's Department of Health over a film shot in Miami Beach by San Diego Boy Productions, asking that the department investigate the health risks "created by the production of hardcore pornography in Florida without the use of condoms."

News of the complaint, which was filed Aug 16, follows days after two adult film performers in California tested positive for HIV, the precursor to AIDS, and a temporary moratorium was placed on adult film production.

"We're not trying to get rid of porn, we want it to be safe for the performers," AHF President Michael Weinstein said on Wednesday. "The industry is playing a shell game where they're trying to hide where they're actually filming."

South Florida, which includes Broward and Miami-Dade counties, is second only to Los Angeles as a hub of the adult film industry. Much of Los Angeles' adult films are produced in the San Fernando Valley, situated to the northeast of downtown Los Angeles and is sometimes called "Porn Valley."

"I don't know if it's the warm weather, but there are a lot of people going back and forth between Miami and Los Angeles," Weinstein said. "We think that if this one complaint is acted upon it will have a chilling effect on unsafe porn in Florida."

Phone calls seeking comment from two Florida-based porn film companies were not returned. The industry has vigorously opposed efforts to require condom use on set, protesting against a 2012 voter-approved measure requiring condoms be used in Los Angeles County.

In mid-August a California judge ruled the law requiring adult film actors wear condoms, known as Measure B, as constitutional after the industry argued it violated actors' right to free speech.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that could mandate performers across the state use protection on set.

AHF is also filing complaints in Nevada and Weinstein said the organization will push health officials to investigate the adult film industry wherever it goes.

In order to respond to the complaint the Florida Department of Health has requested additional information from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to "determine its authority to act on the request," a department spokeswoman said in an email.

(Additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Los Angeles. Editing by David Adams and Andrew Hay)

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