Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation
The Adult Industry Medical Associates P.C. (formerly Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation), also known simply as AIM or AIM Medical, was a non-profit organization devoted to STD testing of pornographic actors for HIV and other STDs on a scheduled basis. Founded in 1998 by former pornographic film actress, Sharon Mitchell, AIM went out of business in 2011 after licensing issues, and a data breach and lawsuit regarding the violation of patient privacy.
Since the 1980s, outbreaks of HIV/AIDS within the community of erotic actors caused a number of deaths. In response to this threat AIM was founded in 1998 by former pornographic film actress, Sharon Mitchell, who had left the industry in 1996 to pursue credentials in public health counseling and sexology.
The Foundation helped set up a system in the U.S. wherein erotic actors in the adult film industry are tested for AIDS every 30 days. All on-camera sexual contact is logged, and a positive test result triggers the contacting and re-testing of all sexual partners during the previous three to six months. The Foundation provides secure means of sharing results via their web servers so that results cannot be forged. Prior to AIM, there had been STD testing programs in lifestyle communities, including Kerista Commune, More University, and Rajneeshpuram. These approaches had mixed results and were less systematic and regular.
Tests for the sex industry actors were done at the Foundation's offices in San Fernando Valley, Sherman Oaks, and Granada Hills. Each month, about 1,200 actors were tested for HIV, with results as early as 14 days after infection. This test is effective 10 days after potential infection, and anytime thereafter (HIV-1 DNA, by PCR) as compared to the alternative HIV test (HIV ELISA) which requires a six-month waiting period to be effective. The center also tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
It was in 2004 that AIM assisted in the sex-film-industry shutdown, a quarantine that lasted fewer than 60 days. A male performer, Darren James, had tested positive for HIV in April and, to prevent another HIV outbreak, an urgent search was initiated for his potentially infected partners. A total of four more performers, Bianca Biaggi, Jessica Dee, Lara Roxx, and Miss Arroyo were diagnosed with the virus by the end of the testing rounds, including one unrelated case in New York. James had apparently had contact with 12 women since his initial negative HIV test in March upon his return from a Brazilian film shoot.
In 2009, the Los Angeles Public Health department and the Los Angeles Times claimed there were 16 unreported cases of HIV among adult film actors. AIM Health Care Foundation reported that these cases were actually members of the general public or people applying to work in the adult film industry that had not yet actually worked in films due to their initial test being positive.
On October 12, 2010, the Foundation reported that an actor or actress had been infected with HIV. The name and gender of the person was not released to the public. Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures shut down porn production temporarily to avoid spreading of the virus. Although Wicked Pictures has a mandatory condom policy, the company shut down to wait for the quarantine list.
In early 2011, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation publicly raised questions about AIM clinics' licensing situation, resulting in a shutdown. Later that year, the foundation reopened under private ownership, but this was short-lived.
In 2006, AIM started offering online services for selecting, scheduling, and paying for tests in affiliation with local clinics and laboratories in many cities via the SxCheck (alternatively AIM Check) website. With secure online access to test results, faking of paper test results was prevented, and workers could select to privately share the results with others online, by email, or by SMS.
Patient database breachEdit
AIM Medical's patient database was the source of a massive 2011 data leak containing confidential personal information, including the real names of over 12,000 pornographic actors and their STD test results, which was distributed via the Porn Wikileaks website AIM closed its offices and filed for bankruptcy in May 2011 as a result of a privacy lawsuit challenging AIM's handling of the patient records.
- Nick Madigan (May 10, 2004). "Voice of Health in a Pornographic World". New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
- "Promoting Healthcare for the Porn Industry". NPR (Weekend Edition). December 8, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- Nick Madigan (April 17, 2004). "H.I.V. Cases Shut Down Pornography Film Industry". New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "Test Selection – Comprehensive Panel – HIV/AIDS Premium Test". SxCheck. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Sharon Mitchell (May 2, 2004). "How to Put Condoms in the Picture". New York Times. Archived from the original on February 29, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Nick Madigan (April 30, 2004). "New H.I.V. Infection Found in Sex-Film Industry". New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Gene Ross (May 27, 2007). "Lara Roxx Timeline Begs Questions: Darren James got it from Lara Roxx, not the other way around?". Adult FYI. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008.
- "Pyramid of potential infection". Los Angeles Times. April 16, 2004. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
Time line of potential first and second generation infections
- "At least 16 previously unpublicized HIV cases". Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2009. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
Los Angeles County officials released public health data this afternoon indicating that 16 previously unpublicized cases of HIV had been confirmed in adult film industry performers since 2004 when an outbreak shut down porn production for a month.
- "News 6/12/09". AIM. June 12, 2009. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
This is why they are not "publicized" as they had never fulfilled the desire to work in Adult Entertainment, due to the positive test.
- "Porn Actor has Tested Positive for HIV; Industry Clinic Officials Confirm a Quarantine is in Effect". Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "Wicked Pictures and Vivid Entertainment Suspend Production as a Precaution Amid New HIV Case in Porn Performer". Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 16, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Stevens, Sara. "Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation". STDAware. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Sharon Mitchell. "Ask Dr Mitch". SxCheck. Archived from the original on March 22, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "STOP SEX INFECTIONS THE SMART WAY". Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- "Porn Actors' Personal Information, HIV Status Released Through California Health Clinic, Report Says". Fox News. March 31, 2011.
- Dennis Romero (May 3, 2011). "Porn Clinic AIM Closes For Good: Valley-Based Industry Scrambles to Find New STD Testing System". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Williams, Mitchell. "How a Straight Adult Performer Convinced Me That Condoms Are Useless in Porn". Huffington Press. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Chen, Adrian (April 1, 2011). "The Wikileaks Knockoff That Has the Porn Industry Terrified". Jezebel.