XBIZ Interviews AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein

I’m gonna have to throw out props to XBIZ.

They conducted a Q&A that appeared Friday on XBIZ.com with Michael Weinstein that I found pretty interesting. For those of you who don’t know, Michael Weinstein is the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They talked to Weinstein about condoms in porn and about what AHF does globally in providing medical care to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

XBIZ asked some pretty blunt questions and Weinstein answered them. He was asked about the notion of the industry packing up and moving to Nevada to escape regulation and Weinstein responded that AHF had already been in communication with officials at Nevada OSHA. He knew that people were shooting without condoms and breaking the law and they will be handled. The idea that people will be able to go to other states and openly flaunt shooting without condoms was “wishful thinking.” Mark Randazza and other yahoos are mistaken if they think Nevada officials will be leading welcome porn parades.

The shooting that is going in Vegas and other locations in Nevada is being done covertly and under the radar. The minute that a company starts making noise or calling attention to the fact that they are shooting condomless porn is when they will be hearing from AHF and Nevada officials. But that’s something that we’ve always known. AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a multi-million dollar company. They are not solely based in Los Angeles, their reach is global. Michael Weinstein has been hell bent on getting legislation passed in Los Angeles and now California, so the adult industry is not gonna be able to drive 4 hours away to another state, stick their middle finger up and say “Hey queer. We’re out here in Nevada fucking without rubbers. Come and get us.” It’s not gonna happen.

So Weinstein says they’ve already filed complaints in Florida and have had meetings with state officials in Nevada. The funniest question was when XBIZ asked why Weinstein had not responded to Peter Acworth’s letters and Weinstein basically said why would he talk to the biggest offender of workplace safety violations? Why would he talk to the biggest scumbag in the industry? That’s basically what he said.

Here’s the interview. XBIZ doesn’t pull any punches and Weinstein, to his credit, answers all of the questions. Again, big shout out to Helmy and crew for putting this together.

“XBIZ: In June 2004, the AHF started a campaign asking porn film producers to voluntarily agree to 100 percent condom use during filming. Ten years later, the AHF might be getting what it asked for — through  government regulation. Why is this issue so near and dear to AHF’s heart?”

“Michael Weinstein: AHF has an international advocacy agenda across a wide array of public health issues. We test 2 million people a year and treat 312,000 patients in 12 states and 33 countries. We don’t regard anyone as disposable including adult film performers.”

“XBIZ: Much has been said lately of the numbers used to promote AB 1576 to legislators. Many in the biz accuse you of using off-set HIV infections as evidence of on-set danger. What’s the truth?”

“Weinstein: Los Angeles County has indicated that they do not know how many HIV infections have taken place on-set in recent years. It is not traceable with current data. We do know that thousands of STDs have been transmitted during filming. The legal brothels in Nevada, who are required to use condoms, have very low rates of STDs and have not had a single HIV transmission in more than 30 years.”

“XBIZ: If AB 1576 is signed into law, will the AHF take a continuing vigilant role and become chief complainant against violating studios?”

“Weinstein: Enforcing the workplace safety laws of California is the job of Cal/OSHA. We will monitor the situation and be involved as necessary.”

“XBIZ: And if AB 1576 gets the green light in California, will the AHF lobby for similar legislation in other states, like Nevada, Arizona, Florida or even New Hampshire?”

“Weinstein: We have already filed complaints in Florida and have had meetings with state officials in Nevada. AHF has a large presence in both states. The discussion within the industry speculating that condomless porn will be welcomed with open arms in Nevada is wishful thinking. Federal OSHA bloodborne pathogen laws apply nationwide.”

“XBIZ: The AHF several years back acknowledged it desired to offer performer-testing services. While that idea drifted off course, do you see that ever in the future for the AHF?”

“Weinstein: We have never intended to provide specific testing targeting adult film performers.”

“XBIZ: With Measure B pending at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, FilmLA reported that recorded adult film permits plummeted — 95 percent — in Los Angeles County last year. Do you think more Porn Valley studios are going underground or are shooting out of the county?”

“Weinstein: I believe that many companies are breaking the law and are filming without permits.”

“XBIZ: According to Vivid Entertainment’s attorneys, taxpayers could be on the hook for funding Measure B permitting requirements, including the cost of set inspections and subsequent hearings to determine fines, if the source of revenue is defunded if the 9th Circuit ruled for Vivid. Do you think this would be a great setback to Measure B, as well as the public’s attitude over porn-condom regulation, if the appeals court rules for Vivid?”

“Weinstein: I cannot speculate on the outcome of the appeal. The constitutionality of the statute was upheld in the lower court and we would be surprised if the 9th Circuit overturned that decision. Regarding the fees, all that L.A. County has to do is to complete a fee study that fairly determines their costs and then they can begin charging fees.”

“XBIZ: Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth has twice publicly taken up the pen to address AB 1576 with you. Why have you not responded to the producer?”

“Weinstein: Peter Acworth is among the worst offenders in the industry when it comes to putting performers at risk. What else is there to say?”

So there it is. A straightforward, no bullshit Q&A. Kudos XBIZ.

After we went off the air Friday, there was a response on XBIZ from Diane Duke, Mark Randazza, Allan Gelbard and of course Peter Acworth. We’ll talk about this and other subjects on Monday’s show, so make sure you tune in to The Rob Black Show from 11AM to 2PM on AdultFYI and on www.TheRobBlackShow.com

Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: rzblack@yahoo.com


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