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Diane Duke: AHF’s accusations “completely false” and “appallingly irresponsible”

fromwww.latimes.com – The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed complaints with federal and Florida state health officials Wednesday, two days after the disclosure that an adult film performer tested HIV-positive.

The complaints call upon the Florida Department of Health and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to investigate the incident and “take all appropriate steps to ensure that workers in the adult film industry are protected from the threat of sexually transmitted infections.”

The Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based porn industry trade group, announced Monday that a performer had tested positive. The group urged a temporary shutdown of all production.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said public health officials, not the Free Speech Coalition, should be in charge of the investigation.

“We want to put pressure on the health authorities to intervene and not allow the Free Speech Coalition to control this,” Weinstein told reporters Wednesday.

Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, said in a statement earlier in the week that the performer had been tested at an out-of-state facility “that does not appear to have protocols or procedures in place for medical follow-up.”

In response to the complaints filed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Duke issued a statement calling the group’s accusations “completely false” and “appallingly irresponsible.”

“This is another prime example of AHF and its President Michael Weinstein’s outrageous grandstanding, which is completely false and baseless,” Duke said.

“AHF has a history of spreading misinformation in order to further their agenda to force government regulation of sexual behavior.”

Weinstein said there were unconfirmed reports that the exposure occurred in Florida. He also reiterated the call for mandatory use of condoms and for the city of Los Angeles to stop issuing new adult film industry permits.

In California, adult film performers must be tested every 30 days and show proof of a negative test before they perform, according to voluntary industry standards.

“Testing is not a substitute for condoms,” Weinstein said. “Testing is not a form of prevention.”

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