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Porn industry health clinic shut down by L.A. County health officials [Updated]

December 9, 2010 | 11:32 am

Porn Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials have shut down the San Fernando Valley-based health clinic that serves the porn industry.

[Updated at 11:42 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the clinic was based in San Fernando. It is in Sherman Oaks.]

“We’ve told the clinic they have to notify people of test results that have already been taken and make appropriate referrals. But they cannot provide new services,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s public health director.

Fielding said county public health staff went to the clinic Thursday morning and issued a cease-and-desist order based upon state regulator’s denial of the clinic’s application for a community clinic license.

Adult Industry Medical healthcare’s general manager and lawyers did not return phone calls Thursday. AIM staff answering the phone Thursday morning said the clinic was still open.

Clinic officials were notified that their license application had been denied Tuesday. They applied June 7, state officials said, but Fielding said the application was “incomplete.”

“They hadn’t done all the things necessary to comply,” he said, but would not elaborate and referred questions to state public health officials, who did not immediately return phone calls or e-mail Thursday.

The nonprofit AIM clinic opened in 1998. Fielding said county public health officials did not become aware that they were operating without a license until April. In May, he said they sent clinic officials a letter advising them that as a nonprofit, they could not operate under an affiliated physician’s license and needed to apply instead for a clinic license.

Fielding said former patients at the clinic are welcome to seek care at county clinics.

“We have on our website a number of places where people can go for testing,” he said. “All the places that we’re involved with are certainly places where people can feel safe -- the privacy and confidentiality are maintained.”

Porn producers had relied on the clinic to maintain a database of performers’ test results that they could check prior to filming. It was unclear what would become of that system.

“I don’t know the answer to that -- you’ll have to ask them. Our feeling has been that that is not sufficient to fully protect the performers,” Fielding said. “They need to use condoms so that these workers will not be put in a position where they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.”

RELATED:

California denies license to porn industry clinic

Derrick Burts, HIV-positive porn actor: 'How many more times does this have to happen?'

HIV-positive porn actor was told: 'You're not going to make any money if you wear a condom'

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Pedestrians are reflected in the front door of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation. The Sherman Oaks clinic was shut down by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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