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Aids Healthcare Foundation Comments on AIM Closing: “Performers Were Poorly Served by AIM”

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LOS ANGELES, CA – In response to the news that AIM Medical Associates (formerly, the Adult Industry Medical Foundation) — an adult-film industry-funded health clinic in Sherman Oaks — is now closed, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today expressed concern about performers’ health.

AHF has been spearheading a workplace safety campaign to require the use of condoms in porn.

“Now that AIM has closed — and the industry ‘fig leaf’ is gone — the responsible thing for the industry to do is to put performers’ health first and require condom-use on all adult film sets,” said Michael Weinstein [pictured], President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“Testing adult film performers for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases is important, but has never been an effective substitute for safer sex and condom use.

“Performers were poorly served by AIM and are poorly served by an industry that places profits above worker safety. If the porn industry won’t protect its own workers, it is time for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health — the government body charged with safeguarding the health and welfare of its citizens — to enforce condom use on all adult film sets in the County.”

The news of AIM’s closing comes on the heels of mounting troubles for the clinic including accusations of poor treatment leveled at AIM by Derrick Burts, a 24 year-old adult film performer who tested HIV-positive in October at AIM, as well as a California lawsuit against the clinic by two former adult film actresses alleging privacy breaches of their protected patient health data.

In addition, in March more than 12,000 current and former adult film performers who tested for HIV and other STDs at the AIM had their privacy breached when their personal data collected from AIM was published illegally on a Wiki-leaks type website.

In response to news of the widespread online privacy breach, AHF said: “This breach should not come as a surprise to any care provider who dutifully manages and cares for populations of patients. The entire business model of the AIM clinic has been flawed from the start, and as a result, its patients’ privacy has been violated.”

According to the Los Angeles Times (3/30/11), “The AIM clinic opened in 1998 but was shut down in December by Los Angeles County public health officials two days after state health officials denied its application to operate as a community clinic based on what regulators called ‘business-related issues.’ The clinic was sold and allowed to reopen last month as AIM Medical Associates P.C., part of a doctor’s office regulated by the Medical Board of California, according to state officials.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest global AIDS organization. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 156,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and the Asia Pacific Region. www.aidshealth.org

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