The following was received from Dr. Sharon Mitchell, founder of Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation:
A series of half truths and innuendos have been circulated regarding a recent incident of an HIV positive test result. Here are the facts.
For the record, AIM follows to the letter all required protocols and reporting structures, and does not make judgment calls as to which agency is to receive reports of positive testing for HIV or STD’s. AIM is told to whom it is to report positive results, and, as in the current situation, follows such guidance completely.
On June 4th, a female currently working in the industry was tested for a number of different possible infections. On June 6th, a preliminary report came in indicating that she had tested positive for HIV, by PCR/DNA. She was immediately called in to AIM, and received additional testing to avoid a false positive. She was instructed not to engage in any sexual activity pending receipt of written results. Since AIM does not authorize performers to work, but merely reports their current status to the industry, there is no way that the actress in question could believe that anyone at AIM told her she was cleared to work unless a negative written report had been received and the industry so notified. No such written report had been received before June 6th.
Due to AIM’s extensive database, all of her partners and their partners were notified to come in for testing, and in fact all have been tested. Preliminary reports indicate all are negative. AIM, as is their protocol, notified the County Health Department’s HIV Epidemiology division of a possible HIV infection. However, since they did not have the results of the other tests given, or any written report, AIM could not disclose the name of the woman involved.
As to reports of other HIV cases not being disclosed, it is clear that most occurred under prior law which only required that the incident be reported and the postal zone address and a partial social security number of the person testing positively be disclosed. As to their being "unpublicized," the AIM database, which is used by all production companies, lists actors and their current testing results. When an individual desires to go into the industry, he or she must initially be tested by AIM to go into the database. If they test positively, they do not go into the database and cannot work in the industry.
An LA Times article set forth the number of working actors who tested positively for non-HIV STDs. LA County got these names and numbers from AIM, which always cooperates under the required protocols.
Dr. Mitchell added, as an addendum to the above press release:
The patient zero tested on Thursday evening at our Sherman Oaks Facility, at 13:43. The specimen, along with other daily specimens, were picked up by the Laboratory Courier. Due to the fact that her test was obviously being re-run for confirmation, there was no result whatsoever in our database from the Laboratory. There is no way anyone from AIM would have known the nature of the result, either detected or not detected for HIV. Her last test had expired on 5/29/09 and she chose to work regardless, without the result of the pending test. AIM does not give people permission to work, or not to work; it is our sole duty to provide accurate and early detection testing in a timely manner. Our staff does not "guess" or give a verbal commitment unless the negative result is in front of them. The young woman's test came back on Saturday, 6/6/09. By this time, she had worked in the adult industry, sans current test.
AIM Healthcare Foundation is an HIV testing clinic. We serve the Adult Industry, as well as the general public. Quite often, due to the early detection nature of our testing, and the low price, and the 24-hour turnaround time for results, the general public will utilize our services. If and when these patients come back positive, THEY ARE ALWAYS REPORTED TO THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT IN A TIMELY MANNER, AFTER CONFIRMATORY TEST RESULTS ARE RECEIVED FOR OUR FILES.
Also, while serving the Adult Entertainment Industry, most talent has an HIV test from AIM to present on the set when they arrive. Typically, in the heterosexual porn industry which does not utilize condoms regularly, folks who desire to be talent will not be hired with an HIV-positive test. AIM continues to follow reporting regulations and does so to the County Health Department, as well as refers "positive" patients for desired treatment, either private or non-profit. This is why they are not "publicized," as these would-be performers had never fulfilled the desire to work in Adult Entertainment, due to their positive tests. These are the two categories into which the "16 HIV cases since 2004" fell. All cases were reported, and referred for treatment.