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Porn industry clinic disputes Derrick Burts' claims that it failed to help him after he tested HIV-positive

December 8, 2010 |  5:40 pm

Attorneys for the San Fernando Valley clinic where adult film performer Derrick Burts tested HIV-positive have released a statement in response to claims that clinic staff failed to refer him for follow-up treatment.

Burts, 24, formerly identified only as “Patient Zeta,” tested HIV-positive in October at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks. The clinic, known as AIM, caters to the San Fernando Valley-based porn industry.

VIDEO: Watch Burts' interview with The Times

He came forward Tuesday to complain that clinic staff promised to refer him to a doctor for follow-up care, then left him waiting for six weeks until he said he sought treatment at a center run by the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has campaigned against AIM.

Attorneys for the AIM clinic released a statement Wednesday afternoon that disputed Burts’ claims, without referring to him by name.

Karen Tynan and Jeffrey J. Douglas issued the statement after Burts held a news conference with AIDS Healthcare Foundation leaders at their Hollywood headquarters Wednesday to call for increased condom use and HIV testing for adult film performers.

“Patient Zeta was offered counseling, documentation of test results, and information and direction regarding resources and treatment,” the statement said. “Any statements made by Patient Zeta which portray AIM as not providing appropriate and proper services are not truthful and are self-serving.”

“AIDS Healthcare Foundation has a history of aggressive and hostile actions against AIM, and the most distressing aspect of this situation is that Patient Zeta is simply being manipulated for AHF's own purposes and in furtherance of their agenda,” the statement said.

The statement said clinic officials have not identified “Patient Zeta” or his girlfriend because of medical privacy laws.

“Despite Patient Zeta's self-identification and sharing of information regarding HIV status and test results and the HIV status of a person identified as a girlfriend, AIM is bound by California and federal statutes to protect the medical privacy of patients, and AIM remains committed to providing screening and testing services to performers as well as our civilian population while maintaining medical privacy."

Clinic officials said they stood behind the statement last month that Burts must have contracted HIV in his personal sex life, something Burts called "completely false." He said clinic officials told him they had traced his infection to a performer they described as a "known positive."

"AIM's statements made to the media and every report to the California Department of Public Health were based upon the information provided by Patient Zeta to AIM,” clinic attorneys said.

RELATED:

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'

Porn performer who tested positive speaks for the first time

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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