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Disruption in the Ranks at AHF? Attorney Brian Chase No Longer with the Organization

The story breaking this weekend is that Brian Chase [pictured left], counsel to AHF, is no longer with the organization. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Chase in a recent debate with Diane Duke not only admitted he didn’t want the adult industry leaving Porn Valley but that AHF also sold condom-less porn movies.

From the AdultFYI October 10, 2012 files: To tell you the truth I was flabbergasted with some of the remarks Diane Duke made in her debate with AHF counsel Brian Chase from this past April. The debate was carried on CSUN On Point, a public affairs program.

I was also flabbergasted that Chase had a hommina, hommina response when Duke brought up the fact that AHF sells condom-less porn movies at its Out of the Closet outlets.

Then, again, Duke absolutely misrepresented the condom issue in the porn industry by telling moderator Rodney Williams that performers have a choice whether or not to work with condoms.

Had this debate been conducted in August, Duke could have also denied that performers were being forced by their agents to work during the syphilis moratorium.

Here’s how other parts of the debate went down.

Chase addressed AHF’s motivating factors for trying to get a condom law passed county-wide.

“We’re the world’s largest AIDS charity,” he said.

“We fight all STDs all over the world. We have clinics. We have mobile testing units. We distribute millions of condoms annually and we thought we could not sit by while there was a large legal industry in our backyard that was allowing STDs to be spread. We’ve been in forefront of this since the last HIV outbreak on the heterosexual side of the business a few years back.”

Chase also added that another factor in AHF’s campaign to get a condom measure was to clean up the adult industry and protect performers.
Williams brought up the fact that Derrick Burts was diagnosed with HIV. Burts worked both in the gay and straight industry.

“Derrick is a perfect example of how not using condoms allows performers in this industry to be exposed to STDs and AIDS. He didn’t get just HIV in the industry. He got genital herpes and he got oral gonorrhea.”

Duke disputes the facts leading up to Burt’s HIV.

“The set he claims to have gotten HIV on was an all-condom set. And he claimed to have gotten HIV by someone who ejaculated on his back. I think that would probably be the first and only case that that has happened.”

Duke says the testing protocols in place have effectively prevented HIV transmission on set whereas indications are that Burts contracted it off set.

“There are no HIV transmissions on sets since 2004,” Duke concludes.

“It’s kind of interesting that AHF is pushing an all condom set and yet the poster boy for all their speaking engagements is somebody who performed in an all-condom set.”

According to Duke in the case of Darren James, “James went out of the country and we believe he contracted HIV in Brazil. He came back and infected those performers so it’s not involved with the protocols we had in place.”

According to Duke the protocols have changed to where a performer who works out of the country has to go through two testing cycles before they’re allowed to perform again.

“And that has clearly worked.”

“Our performers are very important to us. They’re the backbone of our industry. Their health and safety is very important to us. Our population is the most tested population,” Duke continues, noting that performers are tested for HIV, Chlamydia and gonorrhea and that improvements are continually being made.

Duke also makes mention of the fact that although AIM went out of business after it had been hammered with lawsuit after lawsuit, the business has been able to keep testing prices between $120 to $160 per series of tests.

Among the flaws in the testing contends Chase is that there aren’t tests for genital herpes and hepatitis.

“What we do know is that the LA Dept. of Health tracked this population for years and they found thousands of instances of gonorrhea and Chlamydia among adult film performers. Testing alone clearly doesn’t work to protect people from sexually transmitted infections.”

Duke’s report contradicted Chase’s.

“Our numbers for Chlamydia and gonorrhea are much lower that populations that are tested as regularly as ours.”

“That’s actually not true,” Chase contradicted.

“Dr. Meyers report said that it was wrong to compare performers to the general population because the Los Angeles County researches found that infections were 10% higher than it was for the general population. Dr. Meyer challenged that finding saying that it was not fair to compare performers to population groups that included babies and other people who aren’t going to be sexually active.

“But even Dr. Meyer concluded that Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are quite high and Dr. Meyer in a subsequent interview said that the best protocol for this industry would be condoms. And this is someone hired by the Free Speech Coalition.”

Williams threw out some nonsense figure that there are 50,000 movies made a year in Los Angeles and Duke agreed.

Williams was also curious nthat with a 28 day rule, how could Duke and FSC be certain that protocols were being observed on every set.

The answer is they can’t, but Duke said because there have been no transmissions of HIV, that means protocols are being followed.

“Since 2008 there have been 6500 new cases of HIV and out of those only two were adult performers. And none of those have been on the set. Performers will not performer with someone else unless they have been tested. And producers will not allow a performer on set unless they have been tested. Nobody questions that.”

Williams noted that the law excludes companies that shoot in a studio and wanted to know how AHF felt about that.

“In the the city of Los Angeles, their primary purview is film permitting,” said Chase.

“Where we’re headed next is the county of Los Angeles. It has the direct power to regulate public health. Everybody sees the inspection signs on restaurant doors, A-B-C. We’re seeking the same regulatory scheme for the adult film industry where adult film producers will have to go to the county of Los Angeles and apply for a permit.

“In order to get a permit they will have to show an exposure control plan that would actually protect employees for the spread of disease they would have to agree to condom use.”

Duke said that was ridiculous, that Hollywood wasn’t being asked to do the same things.

“We’re talking about layoffs and less tax revenue but LA wants to create a bureaucracy that is going to cost the county a lot of money. I question whether the taxpayers are going to want to do that.”

Duke says the real HIV threat is not the adult industry.

“It’s poverty and we’re in a recession where it’s much, much worse than it was in 2009. And so I would argue what is the AHF doing for Latinos in the community? What is AHF doing for the African Americans? Why is the AHF trying to increase the tax dollars we’re going to have to pay towards protecting an industry when the county’s own epidemiological report said that this is a non issue? This is really a non-issue. It’s a content based moral judgment.”

Duke said what’s dangerous about the condom issue is the government coming in and dictating how to make films.

“It’s the government compelling an industry to create a product for which there is no demand. It’s the government coming in and intruding on sexual behavior between consenting adults. The government needs to stay out of out bedrooms.”

“When you make a war movie you’re not allowed to actually shoot people,” Chase argued.

“If you want to film sex, great. Nobody should get a sexually transmitted disease at work. People are getting sexually transmitted diseases in this workplace all the time. When mainstream Hollywood has to film a violent or a dangerous scene they fake it. They use special effects.

“They use editing. They figure it out. If this industry wants to put out that kind of content they need to step up and actually do it in a way that protects all performers from sexually transmitted diseases.”

“We are probably the safest entertainment industry,” replied Duke.

“We don’t have people jumping out of buildings. We’re not lighting people on fire. We have people making love. They are tested, they are monitored and the protocols work.”

According to Duke, “History tells us that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults as far as preventing STIs. What prevents STIs is the provision of education and the provision of health services.”

Duke said she encourages AHF to do that rather than wage a war on an industry where no problem exists. Duke then called AHF’s ploy, “a grandstanding effort.”

Williams brought up the threats made by Vivd’s Steve Hirsch that porn companies would leave Los Angeles if a mandate was put in place.

Chase noted that production was only legal in California and New Hampshire.

“I don’t see Vivid picking up and going to New Hampshire,” said Chase.

“We have anti-prostitution laws in the United States. You’re not allowed to pay people to have sex. One state supreme court, California and one other, New Hampshire, has held in the context of producing adult films it’s not prostitution and falls outside the prostitution laws. So the suggestion that this entire industry can pick up and leave I don’t think has a lot of merit.”

Williams brought up the issue about how much the industry actually generates.

“The industry is kind of opaque,” states Chase.

“There are one or two companies but most of them are private. So we actually don’t have a great idea on the size of the industry. I don’t want the adult industry to leave. I like adult films. I think adult films make people happy. They are a good thing. But this industry needs to start doing a better job protecting its workers.

“If they leave we’ll follow them wherever they go and keep on working to make sure that they step out the protocols and do a better job.”

Duke said there are already a couple of studios that have left for Las Vegas.

“It would not be difficult for our industry to leave. Our industry already shoots all over the country but we do have a hub here in San Fernando Valley and it would be very easy for our folks to leave if we felt this was not a place that we felt we could create products or products that the consumers want.”

Duke also said she was frustrated by the fact that AHF stores sell condom-less movies.

Chase, caught off guard, answered by saying that “one manager went off the reservation.”

“They wrote a story about it and that manager is no longer with the foundation. If you know any others send me a quick email and they’ll be out the door too.”

Duke said she’d be glad to.


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