Larry Flynt Publications Issues Statement on HIV Testing

Jun 15, 2009 7:00 PM PST
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — On the heels of the Free Speech Coalition issuing the first public comment on a still-unidentified performer testing HIV-positive last week, Larry Flynt Publications has followed suit citing current testing measures, which, it believes, have been effective.

“For years, the heterosexual adult entertainment industry production companies have been on the forefront of protecting adult actors from exposure to HIV/AIDS through a monthly testing program,” read a company press release. “This testing regimen has proven successful in keeping adult entertainers healthy during the course of their work. Other than a small outbreak in 2004 — which was immediately contained — adult actors have been free of HIV/AIDS until the most recent single case reported last week.

”While this newest exposure is obviously unfortunate, it is our understanding that the HIV/AIDS testing protocols were followed, resulting in the discovery of a positive test. Accordingly, the adult entertainment industry is now in a position to take the necessary steps to avoid any further exposure of other performers to this particular actress.”

Citing a recent Los Angeles Times article in which it claimed the latest HIV-positive performer is the 22nd to test positive since 2004, LFP casts a shadow of doubt on the accuracy of that report.

A closer look at those numbers begs for more examination. Counting Darren James and the three women he infected in 2004, an unrelated HIV-positive test from a transsexual performer, the one performer who tested positive on June 6 and “at least 10” performers who are presumed to work in gay adult, leaves six positive tests. Those remaining six are alleged to be civilians who got tested by Adult Industy Medical for the first time and that sought to perform in adult, only to be barred from doing so by testing positive.

“Concerning the reported — but unsubstantiated — claims of Los Angeles County public health officials that this actress’s case is the 22nd reported case of an HIV infection in an adult performer since 2004, we have seen no documentation proving the accuracy of that claim,” according to LFP’s statement. “The known exposures affecting the heterosexual adult industry involved only the 2004 performers, and the most recent exposure involves a single actress. With respect to the remaining 16 positive HIV results the L.A. County public health officials have attributed to adult entertainers, we have no information actually connecting these individuals to the adult entertainment industry or proof that they ever performed for an adult production company, yet certain media sources have repeated this allegation anyway.

“AIM Healthcare tests not only performers, but also civilians outside the industry, and the additional cases claimed by public health officials could be those of individuals who sought private testing or who desired to obtain work in the adult industry but were precluded from doing so by positive HIV/AIDS results discovered by testing mandated by adult entertainment companies. Assuming that is the case, industry testing protocols may have benefited public health officials by alerting them to positive HIV results of which they would otherwise have remained ignorant.

“Consequently, the adult entertainment companies will continue to adhere to the strict testing policies that have proven effective in protecting the health of the vast majority of their performers. These companies closely monitor the health of their actors and actresses, and if future developments warrant changes in the HIV/AIDS testing regimen that has worked well so far, they will continue to be sensitive to the protection of their performers’ health.”

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