opinion

FSC Responds to False Accusations by AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Diane Duke

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has been falsely accused by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), of obstructing a medical investigation by Los Angeles County Public Health (LACPH), in regards to the latest incidence of the possible HIV exposure of an adult industry performer, in a press release issued by AHF today.

FSC, the adult industry trade association, would like to make clear that this accusation is completely false and that is appallingly irresponsible for AHF to accuse any adult industry members of wrong-doing without any basis in actual fact.

Official statements made today by AHF President Michael Weinstein at an AHF press conference are false and seemingly based on rumor and innuendo gathered from unreliable sources.

During that press conference, Weinstein also falsely accused FSC of witholding information from public health authorities.

FSC has received no contact from LACPH, out-of-state health officials, or AHF.

“This is another prime example of AHF and its President Michael Weinstein’s outrageous grandstanding, which is completely false and baseless,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “AHF has a history of spreading misinformation in order to further their agenda to force government regulation of sexual behavior. Apparently, Mr. Weinstein will stop at nothing, including spreading false information, in order to call attention to AHF’s agenda.”

To FSC’s knowledge, there is no investigation being conducted by LACPH at this time. It is impossible for FSC to obstruct an investigation that, evidently, does not exist. In the event that FSC were to be contacted by authorities from LACPH or elswehere, it would endeavor to cooperate fully, while still protecting the rights of any individuals to medical privacy.

It should also be made clear that at this time FSC does not have authorized information confirming that a performer or any performers have tested positive for HIV. However, after reports received on Saturday were corroborated by various sources, there was enough serious concern regarding the possible infection for FSC to call a moratorium on production.

It also should be noted that the possible infection took place outside of California, and there is nothing to suggest that the Los Angeles adult production industry has been affected by any possible infections. However, adult production companies in Los Angeles have voluntarily agreed to the moratorium in order to eliminate the potential for exposure.

Also, the possible exposure and subsequent events took place outside of the APHSS.org database program and therefore, outside of the authority of FSC to implement industry exposure protocols. However, FSC has reached out to concerned parties and is providing assistance.

The APHSS.org database program was developed in order to fill the gap left by the closure of Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) that, since 1998, had been the primary testing facility for adult performers. AIM was closed in May, largely due to financial pressure brought on by relentless litigation waged against them by AHF. FSC administers the APHSS.org program, which was launched on August 1, and still in the process of organizing producers, agents and performers for participation in the program.

“AHF’s campaign for mandatory condoms has done nothing but create controversy and, with the closure of AIM, has deprived the adult industry of an important health and safety resource,” Duke continued. “The industry has successfully self-regulated since 1998, due to AIM and the cooperation of the content production industry nationwide. However, without a similar system in place, the issue of industry protocols not being followed by separate testing facilities presents substantial difficulties for maintaining health and safety standards.”

FSC also has consulted with legal advisers in order to issue a demand for an immediate retraction from AHF.

(Photo: Some rights reserved by Brad Gillette)

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