Los Angeles County Sex Clubs, Bathhouses Should Follow Safety Regulations, Editorial Says
Los Angeles County's 11 "known" sex clubs and bathhouses should follow recently enacted safety regulations -- including supplying condoms at no cost and offering on-site drug and sex counseling -- to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among their customers, according to a Los Angeles Times editorial. Owners of some of the venues argue that the regulations infringe on their constitutional right to privacy and only should apply to establishments where "'high-risk sexual contact' occurs" -- something the owners say they try to prevent. The editorial calls that argument "nonsense," adding, "There is a mountain of evidence that people who go to sex clubs frequently engage in unprotected intercourse." Citing a 2003 Department of Health Services study, the editorial says, "Bathhouse owners should take note of the sobering fact that nearly 11% of men who visited Los Angeles sex clubs were HIV-positive." According to the editorial, "This is not about discrimination" against men who have sex with men. "Unsafe sex is a public health threat regardless of who is having it," the editorial says, concluding, "If [the venues] refuse to impose these basic precautions, the city should pull the plug on bathhouses" (Los Angeles Times, 3/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.