AIDS Foundation to appeal judge's dismissal of petition seeking to regulate porn industry

A lawyer for a healthcare foundation that sought to compel Los Angeles County public health officials to stem the spread of disease on porn-film sets said they will appeal the judge's dismissal of their petition.

The petition filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation contended that the county's Department of Public Health has "passively observed an ever-growing epidemic'' in the porn industry.

"For over a decade, county health officials have talked, watched, written and analyzed. What county health officials have not done is act,'' the petition states.

Foundation general counsel Brian Chase said Tuesday's ruling will not deter the organization in its efforts.

"I'm disappointed and we intend to file an appeal,'' Chase said.

The lawyer said he expected the new legal issues raised in the suit would have to ultimately be decided by a higher court. He charged that public health officials have "sat on their hands for a decade'' without addressing the problem.

"We think there's an ongoing public health threat to the people of Los Angeles and the Health Department should be protecting people from disease,'' Chase said.

One of the steps suggested by the foundation in its petition was a requirement that porn actors were condoms.

In rejecting the petition, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe noted the county has broad discretion in how it oversees public health, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The AIDS advocacy group sued the county in July. The action came weeks after an adult-film actress tested positive for HIV and county health officials released data showing 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis had been reported since 2004 by a San Fernando Valley-based clinic that mainly serves the porn industry.

Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation officials said at the time that the majority of the cases did not involve working adult film performers.