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LA porn industry shuts down in syphilis scare

A syphilis scare prompts the testing of more than 1,000 adult film actors.

Porn industry syphilis scare 2012 08 20Enlarge
The LA porn industry is temporarily shutting down to combat a syphilis scare. A ballot initiative set for the November 6 election would require adult performers across Los Angeles county to wear condoms in X-rated film shoots. (Alexander Tamargo/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES -- A national pornography trade group announced a ban on X-rated film productions while the adult entertainment industry is reeling from a possible syphilis outbreak, reports AP

The Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition said on its website that an adult performer had tested positive for the sexually transmitted disease, syphilis.  The group called for a voluntary halt of all adult film productions while the "entire population" of more than 1,000 performers is tested and treated with antibiotics. "Once the performer receives antibiotics, he or she will be available to work within 10 days," the group said.

Joanne Cachapero, a spokeswoman for the Free Speech Coalition, told AP that the sexual partners of the infected performer are being notified. 

The announcement came after the Los Angeles County's Public Health Department said Friday that it was investigating at least five cases of suspected syphilis involving adult performers that were reported within a week, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The multi-billion dollar porn industry has shut itself down before in response to public health concerns. In 2011, major porn studios remained empty for nearly a week after one adult actor tested positive for HIV, reports AP. 

In 2004, adult producers shut down filming after at least five performers tested positive for HIV.

Adult film producers in the nation's porn capitol of Los Angeles are faced with a new law requiring performers to wear condoms in X-rated films. A ballot initiative set for the November 6 election would extend that law countywide and city official have recommended that a medical professional be on-site to inspect all adult film performances.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120820/la-porn-industry-shuts-down-syphilis-scare