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The porn industry is shooting films illegally to avoid health ordinance, expert says

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Industry chiefs in America's pornography capital, Los Angeles, have been filming in secret, secluded parts of the county to avoid complying with a safety regulation intended to reduce AIDS and STD rates. A 2012 ordinance, supported by public health advocates, requires that all pornographic films made in the county use condoms. As a result, some companies have legally moved out of Los Angeles County, while others have circumspectly gone to Nevada, Florida, or Europe.

But many are skirting the law while remaining in L.A.

According to industry expert Mark Kernes, the condom requirement led many pornography companies to shoot "in out-of-the-way places where they won't be caught." Kernes told ABC News that "normally it's in people's homes who are willing to rent them out for a day. Sometimes it's out in the woods. There are vacation cabins far away from anything that you can shoot a movie at."

The pornographic film industry estimates that 5,000 porn films were shot in 2011. This year, only three are being produced legally per month; it is not known how many are being done illegally, but the number is in the hundreds. Violating the condom law can result in fines and misdemeanor charges.

In 2014, only 20 companies got permits to shoot pornography films. In 2012, prior to the condom requirement, that number was 485.

Last year, a number of of new HIV/AIDS outbreaks shut down the pornography industry on multiple occasions.

Los Angeles County passed the condom law in 2012, because studies show that sexual performers are perhaps dozens of times more likely to contract STDs than the public at large. Porn stars are 64 times more likely to catch gonorrhea than people living in Los Angeles, and 34 times more likely to contract chlamydia.

The porn industry says that new health laws are unnecessary because its stars are tested for diseases every two weeks. Critics note that tests do not catch every outbreak, and that stars are free to spread STDs in the weeks between screenings.

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The bottom line, according to those in the industry, is that fans and performers don't like using condoms. Performers can get rashes in shoots that go for hours, which industry argues can create a greater risk of disease transmission.

Porn viewers are less likely to buy porn that features condom use, cutting into industry profits.

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