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

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

 
Comments () | Archives (47)

Has government gone completely nuts? Can anyone explain how shutting down a health clinic that is working to control the spread of AIDS in our community helps anyone?

finally, it took long enough

Im surrounded by a bunch of babies. are there any grownups left?

I agree an injunction to operate differently seems to have been more called for not elimination or suspension.. the good seems here to have far outweighed the bad.

that was no clinic it was a sham for porn producers to get by health regulations..

What?! there's risk involved with having unprotected sex for a living? shocking.

The clinic shouldn't be shut down, it should be expanded so it can better prevent the spread of HIV.

well it looks like the california government doesnt' need the 13billion dollars in taxable revenue this year.

BAD NEWS!! Now the only place that tested hetero porn actors is shut down. Porn movies will still be made, today and beyond..but now, there is NO place at all where actors (in straight films---gay films do NOT have any similar code of health or worker safety)---can go to get tested where it's REQUIRED.
That's why this guy (who was in gay and straight films, according to earlier articles--not to mention having his own private life)--was found out ASAP to be positive!!!
Now that the place is shut down there's NO PLACE keeping an eye on actors, on warning them of their results..and so there will be MORE STDs being transmitted.

They had a medical permit, but apparently for a private, not a community clinic--they've existed for YEARS---and do a pubic service---but were not granted a community clinic license! So they're gone..and no place that does testing on actors and was respected and relied on exists to take its place. That's bad for all those in the industy....

chris b c

You're wrong. Please substantiate your claim!!! Are you a producer? Did you ever go there? Or just have an opinion??

@Larry: I agree. If it wasn't for that clinic, the HIV-infected porn actor wouldn't have been discovered, and he could have continued and unknowingly spread the virus. That clinic was doing the public a service!

The Dept. of Public Health is only exacerbating the problem, because the Department isn't even offering a viable alternative solution. Even if the clinic doesn't "promptly report" HIV and other STD's, the bottom line is this:

They are the only clinic serving the adult entertainment business that doesn't cost the government one single cent. And, the clinic maintains a database of workers so that they can alert people who have been put in danger, again, without costing the government a single cent.

Until the Department can find someone better to do the job, they need to keep the clinic open. Closing the clinic is just unconscionable and works only the detriment of public health.

And condom use should be required on any and every porn set.

This makes no sense. Why shut down a business that is offering services to help reduce the amount of STD's in society? Obviously, a political move on behalf of the state and county. Pathetic, overreaching, overzealous government organizations interfering with legitimate business.

View the Award winning documentary "House of Numbers" to see why questions about this
must be raised, and why deeper issues about HIV and AIDS need to be
discussed. Lives are at risk. This is the first documentary ,with the worlds
foremost authorities, that highlights the fundamental problems with HIV
testing, science, and statistics, It sheds new light on a misunderstood
phenomenon., for which there is still no cure. GO to
houseofnumbers.com to see the trailer.

As an Actor in the industry, I've gone there many times to get tested and ALL my co-stars got tested there too.
The AIM's clinic provided an invaluable service for the porn preformers as well as the industry as a whole and bear in mind I'm speaking from direct experience.
This is ashamed. They should be allowed to operate as such.
Just get the license and continue with their great work.
Diamond Lane (Adult actor, Producer)

PS Special thanks to Sharon Mitchell for founding this clinic.

“[Dr. JOnathan] Fielding said former patients at the clinic are welcome to seek care at county clinics.”

Oh yeah they are! They are looking forward to that new money with saliva-laden maws.

“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.”

Oh really? You don’t have to worry about someone showing up and trying to confiscate YOUR files or close YOU down? Wow. How very convenient!

“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.”

And now if someone were to contract HIV, going to any number of clinics, and they wanted to pull a Marc Wallice, they could fake a negative test and the industry is back where it started in 1998. This is sick. This whole thing is sick!

yes!!

yes !!!!!!

It's ironic isn't it? Conservatives bleat about how they want "smaller government" but then when the government acts to restricts access to pot, p0rn or a woman's right choose, then they jump in with both of Big Brother's feet.

This clinic has been operating in the open with everybody's knowledge for 12 years and now because a crybaby comes forward... it smacks of Claude Rains in Casablanca, who is "shocked -- SHOCKED -- to find there is gambling going on in the establishment." Anyone else smell rear-covering and posturing?

With regard to Burts, a self-described straight actor wants to make extra money so he works in gay film -- where they DO use condoms for penetration -- but clearly doesn't know how to properly protect himself. That's like a delivery driver who want to make more money so he enters a stock car race without knowing how to properly drive it, then complains when he wipes out.

it really doesnt matter, as the so call adult industry is over, as so many homemade porno vids, and the amount of free webporn makes any business model unworkable.... vivid aint anymore........

Umm can't the state just pass a law saying you have to use condoms when shooting porn.
I'm pretty sure wearing a condom is safer than not using a condom. The arguments against condom use are lame - ruins the fantasy? Seriously that's a good reason - porn is hardcare stuff and requiring them to wear a condom is way less crazy than requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet.

While we are at it they should raise the age to be in a porn to 21. If you can't buy a beer at 18 you shouldn't be able to be in a porn. I'm sure there are a lot of 18 year old girls that were "lost" and made films they seriously regret. At 21 they would be slightly more mature and wiser.

It was only a matter of time till the California government clinic Nazis like Fielding found an excuse to shut down this clinic and "regulate" the industry more closely. What havoc this will be with the State Government in charge!

I suggest the industry immediately plan their move to Nevada. While I have little or no sympathy for the performers in this business, what they are doing is legal, so the State putting up roadblocks to their attempts at regulating their industry internally probably qualifies as being extremely short-sighted, at best.

As a performer I test at AIM every 2/3 weeks, its a great clinic and the staff are very experienced in what they do...

They provide a great service in keeping our industry the safe place it is today, hopefully the LA county see sense and grants this clinic the license it deserves

Keiran Lee

to larry:
They will go to another LA County run health clinic that will do the proper notifications. Obviously there was a big hole in the system and they allowed porn problems to spread if it hurt certain successful producers, etc.

Great points Jim Towne. Pass a law to use condoms in all films will cause the industry to leave California. OH NO! California would rather have some more HIV positives with hot pants goin around LA spreading the "word"!

However, do those county clinics have data bases to see which performer has recieved their proper testing before working in the industry?

 
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