Are you a porn star? Tired of fearing the STD hand-off from one of your peers? Well fret no more–the industry has now got doctors to help clear you up and keep it private too. So says an official from the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), an organization heading up a new medical network to service the porn industry.
The Adult Production Health and Safety Services has been created to replace the now defunct Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation that closed earlier this month. Known as the AIM clinic, the San Fernando Valley health clinic was a preferred medical provider for many performers in the multibillion-dollar porn industry, providing a discreet environment for frequent HIV and STD tests.
The AIM clinic was forced to close permanently earlier this month following a series of controversies. After porn actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed HIV-positive there in December, state and local officials said the clinic failed to cooperate with their investigation into other possible infections. Burts said that instead of getting information from the clinic on how to get follow-up care, he was told to avoid media, change his phone number and leave town. The clinic was also accused of medical privacy violations after patient information appeared on a website in the run-up to its closure.
The FSC, unfortunately, are not in a position to set up an actual clinic to replace AIM, so they’ve done the next best thing–create a network of doctors to take care of adult film actors icognito. Doesn’t get much better than that. Within a week, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said, performers will be provided a list of labs and clinics where they can get testing and have their results fed into the industry database.
For those that don’t know, the heterosexual porn industry attempts to keep close tabs on its actors, to prevent the spread of diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia or HIV. Recent HIV outbreaks in the straight porn industry have shocked those inside as well as the outside public–all the more reason to make sure an updated medical database and medical professionals are at hand to keep the industry safe. The same safeguards are not in place in the gay porn industry. It is believed that HIV outbreaks in the straight industry are started by infections incurred in crossover actors–that is, males working concurrently in both industries. If you don’t get it, don’t ask–you never will.
The new database will tell users whether an actor is available to work or not, depending on whether they have any of the sexually transmitted infections the system tracks. The system makes an exception for HIV-positive gay performers who still work in sex scenes while using condoms. Further, the group is reaching out to medical providers with education to ensure sex performers aren’t treated with insensitivity and hostility for their work.
Listen, you may not like the porn industry, but safety there is safety for us all. Porn stars need good medical care like we all do–maybe even more than the average blow…ehem, Joe. So this is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. Safe sex should be the norm–in life and in fantasy. Good job, Free Speech Coalition.