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Brea Bennett at Twistys

April 20, 2004 07:17am
AIM Protocols Effective in Current Crisis
Source: Free Speech Coalition
by: Company Press Release

(SHERMAN OAKS, CA) -- In the midst of the media firestorm regarding the tragic discovery of HIV-infected actors within the adult entertainment industry last week, Free Speech Coalition (FSC) feels that an important fact has been left out of the discussion. That is the fact that for five years, not a single HIV-positive performer has entered the adult entertainment industry in the United States, thanks to the effective testing program developed and maintained by Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Mitchell.

AIM has been embraced as the only truly reliable testing service for our industry by virtually every significant production company and, therefore, all performers. Using the most precise test available and with an overnight turn-around time for test results, the AIM program has made it possible for the industry to continue to thrive with healthy performers despite the ongoing HIV problem in the broader society. In the present crisis, AIM discovered an HIV-positive performer and, due to uniform and consolidated medical record-keeping and with broad industry cooperation, they are able to track down and test any partners of that performer and contain the outbreak. In short, the AIM system is working.

As the trade association of the adult entertainment industry, FSC's mission is to serve the interests of our membership through lobbying, public education and when necessary, litigation. When HIV first appeared in the ranks of adult entertainment in 1998 it slipped in because the actor involved was so shamed by his status that he lied and kept working using forged negative test results. Veteran adult film actress Mitchell was concerned that talent was being subjected to enormous risk and pushed for an industry testing program. With initial funding from FSC, she began a pilot project to provide STD and HIV testing, counseling and other essential health services to industry talent.

From this modest beginning, AIM now serves over 1000 clients per month and has interdicted a number of potential performers who were in fact HIV-positive. Because of the effectiveness of the AIM system they were identified and quarantined before they entered the adult industry.

Although everyone in the adult entertainment industry is deeply saddened by the news of HIV-infected performers, we are very proud that the AIM system worked so effectively and so promptly to halt the possible spread of this dread disease.

Since it appears that this infection came in from outside the United States, the industry will be analyzing current systems and making necessary adjustments in protocols to prevent this eventuality in the future.

FSC once again encourages everyone in the adult entertainment community to continue to employ the services at AIM so that we can prevent any future HIV outbreaks from occurring.

Contact:
Kat Sunlove, Executive Director
Free Speech Coalition
818-348-9373

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