VAN NUYS, Calif.—According to reports in mainstream media, the California Department of Public Health has denied the application filed by Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation to operate as a "community clinic." However, despite statements from Health Department spokesperson Al Lundeen, it is unclear whether the clinic, which provides HIV and other STD tests to the majority of (hetero) adult performers, will have to close because of the ruling.
AVN spoke briefly with AIM's general manager Jennifer Miller, who was only recently informed of the Health Department's decision, and she said that she would be contacting Health Department authorities immediately to get the situation "straightened out," and that the denial of the application may have been on procedural rather than substantive grounds. She did not elaborate, but said that AIM would be issuing a statement later today.
As AVN has chronicled, over the past two years, AIM has faced attacks from a variety of mainstream sources, including the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LADPH), and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which yesterday held a press conference featuring an alleged adult performer who was diagnosed by AIM as being HIV-positive, and complained about his treatment by AIM subsequent to that finding. All three organizations, as well as several other health-related groups, have participated in Cal/OSHA-sponsored hearings over the past six months regarding whether the current state health code mandating condoms, dental dams and goggles for all adult video sex scenes is workable in light of the available testing procedures and the First Amendment implications of sexual speech.
Lundeen told the Los Angeles Times that AIM had been informed back in June that it would need the "community clinic" operating permit in order to continue in operation, but he provided no details as to why the application had been denied. Lundeen also noted that AIM continues to operate as it previously had, but that his staff would "be in contact to discuss [the] next steps."
Any disruption of AIM's testing services would likely force a swift shutdown of adult video production, since most talent would refuse to work with untested partners, and there is currently no other clinic providing the same services that AIM provides to adult performers; particularly the affordable PCR-DNA testing for HIV. (By contrast, for instance, AHF's HIV testing consists of a 10-minute "antibody" test, which can remain negative for up to six months after a person is infected, and thus is unsuitable for adult video work.)
Check back with AVN.com for further information on this developing story.