APHSS to Only Accept Aptima HIV Test

Rhett Pardon

CANOGA PARK, Calif. — APHSS.org today said that starting Aug. 31 it will accept only the Aptima HIV-1RNA Qualitative Assay test for monthly performer screening.

The move comes after dialogue with industry members who have expressed concerns over the “off-label” use of the Abbott RealTime HIV 1 Assay HIV PCR test, said the APHSS, formally known as Adult Production Health & Safety organization.

"Though recommended to APHSS.org by experts for screening purposes, the Abbott test is not FDA-approved for diagnosis of acute (early) HIV infection," the organization said in a statement.

Producers approached FSC Executive Director Diane Duke with concerns over the off-label use of the Abbott test, leading to a decision to accept only the FDA-approved test.

“In our research as to the best test for the industry there were expert doctors and pathologists that preferred the Abbot test which is why we kept it on the list,” Duke said. “But we heard from producers and performers that they would prefer only the Aptima test. All of the experts we spoke with said that both tests were appropriate, so Aptima it is.”

The Aptima test, a "qualitative" one that looks for the HIV virus itself and reveals a prognosis of either infected or not infected, is FDA-approved for early diagnosis of HIV infection. It also has a 9-11 day “window period,” which shortens the time of accurate diagnosis, compared to a 14-day window for PCR-DNA tests previously used by APHSS.org and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) clinic.

The APHSS program was developed to fill the void left by the AIM clinic closure. APHSS upholds industry self-regulation of performer testing and carries on with the protocols developed by the AIM clinic for handling of any STI exposure incidents that may occur on adult sets.

APHSS said that includes responsibility for protocols in the event of an HIV exposure, as well as any needed production moratoriums.

The Aptima vs. Abbott debate reached its pinnacle last week after a producers meeting was called to discuss the issues between the two performer tests.

Some two dozen adult entertainment executives and others, along with three officials from Gen-Probe, makers of the Aptima "machine," gathered at Penthouse in an event coordinated by Shy Love to discuss why the Aptima is the far-superior choice for the porn biz.