Monday, July 21, 2014

Etology Of An "Outbreak": The 2013 HIV Porn Timeline

Since I posted my thoughts on Cameron Bay's interview with TRPWL's Michael Whiteacre yesterday, there has been some questions raised about the timing of the events ensuing during the outbreak, and whether or not they cast some light or doubt on Cam's assertions about getting infected on that Kink.com shoot.

In order to aid in at least better understanding the questions, if not to resolve them, I'm issuing this rough timeline of all the events leading to and through the 2013 HIV "outbreak". I will do this without any commentary on my part, so that you can reach your own decision and make your own opinions based on this and other information.

July 10, 2013: Rod Daily's last clean HIV/STI test, using the PASS protocols.

Mid-July 2013 (approx.): Rod Daily and Cameron Bay meet in Los Angeles before they initially "break up", according to Cameron's subsequent testimony.

Mid-July 2013: Cam Bay, Sofia Delgado (later to become "Performer #3" to be infected with HIV, verified in mid-September), and Austin Lynn (who was cleared w/ clean test in September) roomed together at the model house for the agency ATMLA (then led by Shy Love) for approx. 2 weeks. Delgado also shot various scenes in different venues during that period, before returning to her home in Arizona for the Fourth of July holiday.

July 27, 2013: Cameron Bay's last clean HIV/STI test, again using PASS. She flies to San Francisco to meet Daily for Kink.com Public Disgrace shoot.

July 31, 2013: Bay shoots scene for Kink; Daily accompanies her to hospital afterwards for treatment of breast tissue wound.

End of July (approx.): Sofia Delgado's last clean HIV/STI test using PASS.

August 1, 2013: Daily shoots TS scene for gay Kink.com site (with a condom, per Kink protocols). Note that all performers who did scenes with Daily have been cleared as HIV-. Daily then accompanies Bay back to LA before connecting flight by himself back to Arizona. Bay returns to Arizona the next day for further treatment of her breast tissue.

August 3, 2013: Cam Bay tweets "thank you" notice to Xander Corvus (screen partner in Kink scene) for "awesome PD scene". Later that day, though, Bay serves up troubling series of tweets (capped and reposted by TRPWL here) implying some serious shocking life changing event.


August 8, 2013: Sofia Delgado (P#3) does one more shoot in LA before returning to Arizona. It would be her last for that month.

Mid-August 2013: Cameron Bay and Rod Daily temporarily reunite (or at least "meet up") in Arizona.

August 17-19th: Bay hospitalizes herself for stomach issues, gets tested, then retested for HIV due to a bad blood sample.

August 21st: Cam Bay's HIV+ status officially confirmed by FSC/PASS; production moratorium imposed.

August 22nd: Blogger Mike South posts incendiary article claiming Xander Corvus as "Patient Zero"; Corvus strenuously denies.

August 24th: Corvus releases via Twitter his most recent clean HIV/STI test through PASS. (He has tested clean since as well.)

August 27th: PASS announces that all other active performers have been cleared as clean; moratorium will be lifted on August 31st.

September 3rd: Rod Daily announces that he is HIV+ and has been "for weeks"; dodges questions on why he didn't use PASS protocols, but rather, his own private physican for diagnosis. Later that day, ATMLA announces that a shoot scheduled for Sofia Delgado on September 8th in LA would be pushed back to September 15th.

September 6th: PASS confirms "Performer #3" (Sofia Delgado) infection via their protocols; moratorium reinstated.

September 11th: Cameron Bay is featured in an Huffington Post column by Kathleen Miles in which she makes the accusations that she was decieved into performing the Kink.com shoot without a condom, among other issues.

September 17th: PASS announces that based on clean tests of all other performers/contacts of P#3, moratorium can be lifted on Sept. 18th, pending new protocols and fresh tests.

September 18th: Cameron Bay and Rob Daily offically become propagandists for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's condom mandate campaign and Isadore Hall's original condom bill; appearing in a press conference with AHF President Michael Weinstein.

December 3rd: In a case totally unrelated to the Bay/Daily saga, a gay male performer (subsequently ID'd as TJ Cummings) is confirmed to be infected with HIV using the PASS protocols, prompting another moratorium. No other performer is found to be infected, and the moratorium is allowed to expire on Dec. 13th.

June 25, 2014: Cameron Bay testifies before the California State Senate Labor And Industrial Relations Committee in support of Isadore Hall's AB1576 condom mandate bill, rehashing all her accusations against Kink.com for allegedly getting her infected with HIV. She also added the new charge that she was "forced" to perform without a condom under threat of not being paid for the scene she did. That charge was denied by officials from Kink.com (cited here), citing their stated procedures for paying performers. Also, Sofia Delgado gives brief support testimony; later investigation reveals her formally to be "Performer #3").

July 19, 2014: Cameron Bay is interviewed by TRPWL's Michael Whiteacre, in which the former attempts to clarify her statements against questions raised about her accusations. (results here).


If I missed anything here, by all means let me know. And....what you make of this is your business and yours alone....goodness knows, I have my own.


HIV Porn Panic 2014: Cameron Bay Goes Interviewing With TRPWL's Michael Whiteacre To Clear Herself, But Raises More Questions Than Answers

[This is a slightly revised version of a post I did for my Red Garter Club blog yesterday.]

Those of you here at BPPA who have been following the entire saga of the fight to mandate condoms in porn, as well as the more recent HIV "outbreaks" of last year, already know all too well by now the story of Cameron Bay.

For those hiding under a rock these last 2 years, Ms. Bay was one of the confirmed porn performers to become infected with HIV during 2013, and is currently the main perfomer spokesperson for California Assemblyman Isadore Hall's and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's attempt to force condoms and other forms of "barrier protection" on the Cali-based porn industry through legislative action. Their bill before the California Senate, AB 1576, is now scheduled to be heard before the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4th; passage there would then allow it to be heard by the full Senate for approval. It has already passed the California Assembly.

As a prelude to the Assembly meeting, apparently AHF and Cam Bay decided that it would be a good idea to send the latter out on the interview circuit within the porn media, mosty in order to response to criticism that Ms. Bay is essentially ducking her own responsibility for her infection (and that of her boyfriend, performer Rod Daily) in order to serve as paid henchwoman for AHF's condom mandate agenda.

Which is how Cameron Bay managed to contact Michael Whiteacre, contributor for TheRealPornWikileaks.com and one of her strongest critics and opponents of the condom mandate, for what ended up as a 45-minute phone interview.

The results, along with Whiteacre's analysis, was posted to TRPWL last Thursday, and they make for some interesting reading and analysis.

In the interview, Ms. Bay attempts to answer all of the criticisms and questions that Whiteacre and TRPWL has raised about her acquiring HIV, as well as her paid testimonials for AHF and Izzy Hall's bill. Her answers do clear up some aspects of the controversy...but they also raise, in some parts, some new questions.

I'll use Whiteacre's TRPWL post as a template for my own personal thoughts and reactions.

It should be noted that Michael does give Cameron Bay her respect for being cordial and for responding in a mature adult manner, and renders no ill will for her due to her illness. I will share that sentiment 120%; all criticism of Ms. Bay here reflects the hope that she survives her illness with all the best.

That said, though, there's plenty of Cam's original testimony that doesn't pass the smell test....and some of her answers to Michael's questions don't do enough to totally kill the stink, either.

All quotes from here on out, except where clearly stated, are from Whiteacre's TRPWL post.
At the outset of our conversation, Cameron said that she wanted to explain why her earliest statements related to her infection stand in stark contrast to statements made later — i.e., after she hooked up with AIDS Healthcare Foundation to join its campaign against the adult business. Cameron explained that she “didn’t want to be that graphic” at first. This statement is odd because her earliest interview was with Adult Video News (AVN) — an adult business trade magazine. Why would it be less okay to be “graphic” with AVN than with the Los Angeles Times?

Cameron’s move to reconcile her differing statements is strangely reminiscent of 2010 ‘Patient Zeta’ turned AHF spokesman Derrick Burts’ attempts to do the same. In a 2011 interview, Burts sought to pass off his latest version as mere elaboration: “I gave this version to the media, but I’m sure you can see why they omitted it—it was probably a little too graphic.”
Maybe, Michael, because this time she is being coached by AHF to say whatever graphic Gothic tale will suffice to scare the public into favoring mandatory condoms, perhaps?? As we will see further along, Cameron Bay seems to have discovered the way to inflate her charges with each venue she offers.
Cameron, who has been shooting scenes since 2008, also justified statements made to the California legislature that she had only been in the business for three months at the time of her HIV infection by stating that she only considered herself a professional adult performer for three months. Prior to that she hadn’t had an agent and was only shooting scenes for her husband — or when she was in need of cash. Whether this distinction is relevant or not may be debated, but there’s an old saying, “amateurs don’t get paid.” Furthermore, many professional adult performers don’t have an agent.
So..if you don't shoot any scenes in California, and/or do not have an agent representing you, then all of your history doesn't count or exist?? You mean, then, that Derrick Burts flashing his AIM tests on Rentboy.com doesn't count, either?? Not to mention, her involvement with Shy Love (then head of ATMLA) in 2012 in setting up shoots for her??

The main focus of Michael Whiteacre's post, though, was to attempt to reconstruct a timeline for when Cameron Bay was infected, and to rebuke her claims that she was infected through that controversial Kink.com shoot on July 31st....the foundation that underlies the entirity of AHF's/Izzy Hall's legal rampage.

Cam asserted to Whiteacre that she had "broken up" with Rod Daily prior to her trip to San Francisco for the Kink.com shoot, and that the last time they had sex together was in July when they got together in Los Angeles.* Since Daily's last PASS test was on July 10th (which he was found to be HIV/STI-free), that would put their last tryst by mid-July. (A screenshot of Daily's final PASS test is posted in Whiteacre's interview post. Remember, though, that Daily refused to use the PASS system after that, announcing his positive test on September 3rd through another source...either his personal doctor or an AHF-backed physician using more traditional ELISA testing.) Cam then retested, and was cleared, on July 27th, then traveled to Frisco for the Kink shoot with Xander Corvus and Lorelei Lee.

The party line all along being pushed by Cameron Bay and all the other proponents of the condom mandate was that Corvus was the "Patient Zero" who infected her during that shoot. Considering that Corvus tested negative before the shoot, tested negative right after the shoot, and has not had a positive test since then despite shooting all kinds of bareback scenes, that assertion could be highly questionable. (Ditto for Lorelei Lee as well.)

Cam's attempted response to all that?? The system is LYING. Really, it is.
I asked Cameron about her fixation on Xander’s bloody penis at the Kink shoot, in light of the fact that he’s HIV negative. Her response was, “How do you know?” She sought to denigrate PASS testing by saying that any PASS “administrator” could change a performer’s status from “Not Available” to “Available” with a mouse click.

This is pure propagandistic deflection by Cameron. Aside from the fact that every HIV test result at a clinic / laboratory is automatically reported to the county health department, regardless of PASS protocols, Corvus has shot hundreds of condom-less shoots since July 31, 2013. If Corvus is HIV-positive, either he would have infected dozens of people by now (who would have infected dozens if not hundreds more), OR, mandating condoms in porn as proposed by AHF is not necessary because HIV is not transmittable on porn sets.
Forget the basic fact that no PASS "administrator" would be that stupid to modify an infected performer's status to make him/her available for shoots and risk a cataclysmic epidemic of performers that would essentially shut down the porn industry for good. And, forget Whiteacre's point that any HIV+ result is mandated to be reported to the health authorities post haste, with the threat of fines and jail as enforcement.

Indeed, you could even make a presumption that since Corvus was clean but it was Bay who initiated the crisis at that shoot by biting down just a bit too much on Xander's dick, she, not Corvus, was the threat to transmit infection. I don't and won't make that presumption, of course, since it's my unverified belief that Cameron Bay more than likely was either infected right after or a few days after that shoot.

Cameron then attempted to explain away her charge that Kink.com exploited her by "forcing" her to continue the shoot without a condom, in spite of reams of testimony by others at the shoot that she had multiple options. This time, she went to the "They violated the LAW" card:
As for Cameron’s claim that she was taken advantage of on the Kink set because the shoot with Xander continued after she accidentally scraped his penis with her teeth, she gave a similarly-crafted answer. She agreed to continue shooting when asked, she says, but she claims she did not know that to do so was allegedly in violation of Cal/OSHA regulations, so therefore it was not a fully informed consent.

This is a very legalistic answer, and perhaps explains how Cameron could rationalize her statements to the California legislature, but it’s still a dodge that does not reflect the tone and tenor her public testimony.
Really??  This is miming the standard AHF line that "condoms are already required by law, so if you don't mandate them, you are in violation" canard. If that's the case, then why is AB 1576 being pushed? Why is CalOSHA attempting to rewrite the regulations on "bloodborne/bodily fluid transmissions" to include adult businesses and mandate condoms and other forms of barrier protection? Other than the civil action AHF has filed against Kink.com on their lack of mandated condoms with CalOSHA (which should be a moot point anyway since, once again, no performer in that shoot (other than Bay and Daily) has been found to be infected at that time of since then), is there any other case that's not an AHF propaganda ploy to sell the condom mandate?

Whiteacre continues with this:
Cameron told me that she has focused her blame on the brief time spent at Kink.com not because they are a top AHF target, but instead because, other than her on-camera performances, she had only had sex with one person during the time period in question, and he has since tested negative. Presumably, it’s okay to rely upon the result of his test…
Of course, she won't say what type of test he relied on, or whether it was followed up.

And then, this happens. Remember when Cameron said that she had "broken up" with Rod Daily last July? Weeelllllll...
In any case, Rod was already in San Francisco when she arrived on July 31, 2013. Cameron confirms that when she arrived, Rod had been in San Francisco for a “nearly a week”. Like the other times when “he wasn’t around” her, she cannot speak to his activities.

Daily shot a scene for Kink with a TS performer (using a condom) on August 1st; Cameron recalls him working with a blonde TS performer. This would be Aubrey Kate. According to Kink, every performer who shot with Rod has since tested HIV-negative — including Aubrey.

After Rod’s shoot, Cameron and Rod flew to Burbank, California. Rod had a connecting flight to Phoenix, but Cameron stayed in the Los Angeles area.

Cameron has perviously stated, “My last shoot was with Kink and the last time I saw Rod was a week later”, meaning they met up in Arizona before her she tested positive for HIV.
Keep in mind also that one of the options that was offered to Cameron at the time of the Kink.com shoot, according to contemporaries there, was to bring Rod Daily over to finish the scene. Would that be an option for her if they had really "broken up"??

And, the fact that Cam and Rod would hook back up in Arizona the week after the Kink shoot is highly problematic for a couple who had presumably "broken up" a month ago.

Could it be that Daily was infected doing some extracurricular off-the-clock activity like Derrick Burts was in 2010? And then, somehow, the week after the Kink shoot, he infected Cam Bay when they met afterwards? Like I said, just my personal unproven, unverified assumptions.

In any case, everything changed after August 21st, when Cameron Bay learned of her HIV+ status.
After her HIV diagnosis, Cameron returned to Arizona and got back together with Rod. They moved in together.

When I asked Cameron why shy thought Rod did not test immediately after her HIV-positive diagnosis, she said it was “we weren’t a couple” — meaning that, since they had allegedly not had sex since mid-July, he didn’t think he was at risk.

With all due respect to Cameron, who was very open to answering hard questions, I find it hard to believe that Rod would not at least take the precaution of an HIV test at that point.
It was right about that time when Daily was all over Twitter, running all sorts of smack about how he wasn't HIV+ and how he would be posting his test results to prove everybody wrong....while simultaneously refusing to take the PASS tests. He ultimately did confirm his HIV+ status on September 3rd through Twitter, testing through a non-PASS source, and then squawking about how the PASS database was useless in preventing HIV because the medicine he was taking for treatment was undercutting the tests by cloaking the virus. (To which, actual AIDS testing researchers and people knowledgable with retrovirals and HIV testing responded: Bull. Poop.)

The only logical explanation you could give for Daily's response was that he was already infected at the time, and all his show-n-blow was either myopic denial or deliberate playacting for the inevitable moment. And after that, the AHF paychecks to pay for his treatment started kicking in.

But, hang on....the intrigue only gets better.

Remember that there was a third performer in 2013 that got infected with HIV during that crisis period; her diagnosis on September 10th is what prompted the second moratorium following Cam Bay's announcement on August 21st.

Before now, she was just speculation....but now, we can attach a name and a history to her. Sofia Delgado is her name, and she officially introduced herself to the world at the California Senate Labor Committee hearings as a supporter of AB 1576, albeit only briefly as a sideshow to Cameron Bay's main Big Tent antics.

However, she had already been partially revealed by Michael Whiteacre's/TRPWL's prior investigative efforts as Performer #3, and as a close friend of both Cam Bay and Rod Daily.

In the actual phone interview, Cam Bay strenuously denied that she and Delgado were actual lovers on the side, and that she could have gotten infected indirectly from Sofia....even though, all three of them hailed from the same area (Phoenix).
She says that she never had any sexual contact with Delgado, and never knew her in Arizona. Delgado was (and still is) under 21, so Cameron says it would have been unlikely for her — or Rod — to have met Sofia at a bar or club in the Phoenix area.
Well…

Delgado had been a stripper in the Phoenix area since she was 18, dancing at the gentleman’s clubs Dream Palace and Elite Cabaret in Tempe, Arizona, so there were many other opportunities for them to meet. Cameron countered that Rod never liked strip clubs, so she finds it hard to believe that he would have met her there.

But again, as Cameron stated, she “wasn’t always around him.”
Can't be your brother's keeper all the time, I guess.

Whiteacre rounds out the sad tale thusly:
If that phrase sounds familiar, perhaps that’s because it is — to the word — the same thing Derrick Burts’ girlfriend, performer Kaycee Brooks, told an interviewer in 2012.

Incidentally, this was the same answer Cameron gave when I asked whether Rod was escorting during the time they were together. “He never said anything to me about it,” she says, “Unless he was living a double life…”

On the morning of September 3rd, Rod Daily announced on Twitter that he was HIV+, and implied he had known this for days. A few hours later, ATMLA tweeted that Delgado’s L.A. trip had been pushed a week — to September 15th.
Funny how everything seems to go right back to Rod Daily, doesn't it??

The final piece of unfinished issues in that interview dealt with Cameron Bay's new wealth since becoming AHF's official condom mandate spokeswoman. It's one thing -- and no one should have any objection at all -- for AHF to offer to pay for Cam's HIV treatment. But...
Cameron claims she was not paid by AHF for her testimony. I asked where she suddenly got the money this year to buy a car, get a new pad, pay $10,000 toward her court fines, pay for new boobs and be robbed of $10,000?

Cameron replied that she won $16,000 at a casino.

I see a tweet about a casino on March 8, and that could account for the $9,027 payment to the court on April 8, but Cameron got her boobs re-done in back in January and started furniture shopping for her new place in February. The numbers don’t add up.

Cameron claims, however that AHF has only “provided transportation” for her. She also denied that AHF had hooked her up with someone who would provide for her in one way or another.
You mean that an organization with nearly $250 million in revenue wouldn't give a penny in bonuses to their chief advocate that could potentially bring millions more in revenue from condom advertising to their org?? Seriously??

The point is not that Cameron Bay shouldn't get paid for the job she's doing for AHF or that she shouldn't accept money for her treatment for her illness, but that both Cam and AHF should be just a bit more transparent about what they are doing and call it for what it really is.

There is this to say about Cameron Bay, though: she has stones to survive what she's been through.

Even if I strongly disagree with her message and her campaign, I gotta give her credit for that.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Porn Panic 2014: The Cali Senate Labor Committee Hearing on #AB1576 -- Part Deux (Now With 50% MORE AHF BS!!)

OK..we continue now with my review of last Wednesday's hearing on Isadore Hall's condom mandate/testing/documentation bill, AB 1576, before the California State Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. If you want to re-read Part 1 of this essay for background, feel free by all means.

When we last left, the opposition of this joint effort of Izzy Hall and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation had just exited the microphone, but not without doing significant damage to the case for mandatory condoms in porn and weakened testing and forced documentation to the state. In particular, performer Lorelei Lee was especially devastating whole planks of AHF's illogic for justifying shoving condoms and dental dams and PPE down and up perfomers' orfices. Quoting again Mark Kernes' review of the hearing from AVN:
When it became Lee's turn at the rostrum, she noted that she was delivering to the committee "a petition of over 600 performers who have signed to say they have grave concerns with this bill and they strongly oppose it.

"I also have reached out to and spoken with over 100 performers myself, who have expressed their concerns to me," she added. "There can be no doubt that the majority of performers oppose this bill.
"The author of this bill does not speak for performers," she charged. "The sponsors of this bill do not speak for performers. They have not sat down with us. They have dismissed our attempts to give input, and the result is a bill that is shortsighted, that disregards any of our actual labor concerns, and that would mandate testing protocols that are in fact less strict and less rigorous than the ones we now have in place."

Lee also addressed the health privacy concerns: "In addition to jeopardizing our safety, this bill would force us to consent to the sharing of our medical information with the state. Mr. Hall has amended the bill so we no longer share that information with our employers, we share it with the state. This is a dangerous precedent to set, and I do not believe they would ask this of workers in any other industry."
Also there to deflate the AHF balloon of myopia was FSC Chairwoman Diane Duke, who offered a sterling defense of the current PASS screening/testing system, as well as the caveat that the entire exercise would potentially be in vain due to constitutional issues with both the condom mandate and the documentation requirements.
When it became Diane Duke's turn to speak, she emphasized that there had been no on-set HIV transmissions in the adult industry in ten years.

"The speakers who spoke earlier today contracted HIV in their private lives," Duke stated. "We have strict protocols, as Lorelei has mentioned, in the industry already. That has resulted in no on-set transmission of HIV, and that's nationwide we're talking about. Just to put that in perspective, in LA County alone, daily, five cases, new cases of HIV occur every single day. So in LA County, just five a day. Nationwide, none on set in 10 years."
Duke also warned that there is currently a lawsuit in Los Angeles County regarding Measure B, which is "a very similar bill [a law, actually], not as onerous as this bill"—and that portions of it had already been found unconstitutional in federal court.

"The enforcement provision of that has been found unconstitutional," she noted. "The narrow issue of condoms has gone on appeal. The oral arguments were in March, so we're expecting a decision handed down by the end of the year. So this bill may be pushed through and may be found unconstitutional before it is even able to make it to law, so I really urge everyone not to create a law that may be found unconstitutional."
That last paragraph was in relation to the ruling by federal district judge Michael Pregreson which upheld most of the provisions of Measure B, the condom mandate ordinance passed in 2012 by voters  in Los Angeles County, while striking down provisions dealing with enforcement and collection of fees from porn production companies and due process procedures. That ruling is currently under appeal in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, both on the constitutional grounds that the mandate violates First Amendment rights of free expression by imposing a content-based restriction on legal speech, and on the ground that AHF has no legal standing to defend the law because they are a third party not bound to enforce the ruling.

After that, there were brief statements of testimony from other opponents, raging from performers Jizz Lee, Amber Chase, Veruca James, and Chanel Preston of APAC; to reps from the St. James Infirmary in San Francisco, to reps from the porn syndicate MindGeek, among others.

Then, the Q&A from the committee members got going....and it turned out to be eye opening. First...
It was then the committee members' turn to ask questions, and Sen. Holly Mitchell, who voiced support for the bill, asked if passage of the bill would affect any plans that CalOSHA has to revamp its health code to include regulation of the adult industry. AHF's Martin said it wouldn't affect it at all, and noted that it was AHF which had brought the lack of condom use in the adult industry to CalOSHA's attention in the first place. Martin also noted, in response to one of Sen. Mitchell's questions, that "You all just approved a restoration of 26 employment slots at CalOSHA for investigation purposes, because one of the problems during the recession is that they cut and cut and cut, and were not able to enforce the law as vigorously as they would like. That will now change now that you've been able to restore that money for them," referring to a budget bill.
Of course, that was no surprise, considering that CalOSHA had been colluding with AHF from the get-go on attempting to rationalize the condom mandate, and that one of the big issues that afflicted Measure B was that the funds for enforcement would come directly out of the permit fees imposed on the "pornographers". That issue wouldn't exist with 1576 because the enforcement would be entirely on CalOSHA's dime, with money probably appropriated to them from general revenue. (Though, I'm sure that AHF will be more than willing to chip in with all that grant money they get from the state as well.)

In addition, that "revamp" of the health code to bring adult porn producers into compliance (and ultimately, be enforced nationwide through the Federal branch of OSHA) would effectively impose not only condoms and "barrier protection", but also effectively outlaw nearly every bit of current porn fashion in the name of "STI protection". No anal or vaginal penetration AT ALL unwrapped. No facials. No spooge shots in the vicinity of the butthole or vagina, or anywhere from the neck up or between the belly and the knee. No double anals or double vaginals, and possibly even no "double penetrations" (ass and pussy simultaneously) or "airtight" scenes (mouth, ass, and pussy simultaneously). No ass-to-mouth scenes, either. There was thought of allowing unwrapped oral sex scenes, provided that the perfomers therein subject themselves to doctor's approval and a regimen of Hepatitis C/HPV vaccinations prior to clearance, but that has not so far made it into the draft proposed regs. Effectively, the only allowed acts of "closure" would be internal ejaculation into a condom anywhere, or "nutting off" on approved parts of the body.

Next up, this highly illuminating response by AHF legal counsel Rand Martin to an inquiry by Sen. Mark Leno on the potential constitutional issues. Naturally, Martin simply blew that off in a whiff.

Sen. Mark Leno, who gave an impassioned statement at the end of the hearing about why he opposed the bill, asked Martin to comment on the constitutional issues raised by the Vivid lawsuit against Measure B, but Martin downplayed the possible effects of a ruling in that case.

"The issue of First Amendment protections under Measure B is now before the Ninth Circuit, and we have no idea when it will be decided," Martin said. "So we acknowledge that this is not done in terms of the court's ruling. However we don't believe that the issue of First Amendment is ultimately going to prevail. We appreciate the trial court's decision in that regard and [it] echoed our concerns. I would also point out that ultimately, again, this bill is about documentation and not about the underlying condom requirement, so I suppose in one scenario, that in the future, the court could throw out the condom requirement, that could ultimately have an impact on the regulation of it, which is what this bill is, is about the regulation of that requirement. Obviously, it would not be enforced at that point. However, we don't want to hold off on moving forward with this important documentation requirement on the off-chance that a court, a higher court will ultimately decide that there are certain First Amendment protections that are not being afforded under Measure B, and Measure B, of course, is what's being enforced."
Of course, the documentation requirements have their own constitutional issues, including that federal law called HIPPA, on top of the free expression/content-based speech restriction issues. But, if this bill is not about mandating condoms, why is AHF, who has built their organization squarely on the condom mandate for the past 5 years, so readily backing it?? It's not as if they even have their own brand of condoms to pitch to people for the goal of making lots of money off condom ads....errrrrr, spreading the word about "safer sex", right??

Then there is that little thing about the "FIVE!!! KNOWN!!! HIV!!! INFECTIONS!!! IN!!! PORN!!!!1111ONEHUNDREDELEVEN111!!!!" meme that turned out not to be so accurate...so much so that the Sacramento Business Journal had to print a retraction from the LA County DPH rebuking Hall's claim. When Leno inquired Martin about that bit, the response by the latter was classic....in blowing the roof off the entire Bullshit Mountain built around the condom mandate.
What was of particular interest was Martin's response when Leno brought up the fact that after the last Assembly hearing on the bill, the Sacramento Business Journal was required to print a retraction of its previous statement that there had been some HIV transmission within the industry on film sets.

"There has been a misunderstanding," Martin said, "and I'm sure we—and the opposition is just as guilty about perpetuating this: The bottom line is, because of California HIV privacy laws, it is impossible without a county public health investigation to actually determine where a transmission occurred. We have tried to be very careful to not say that HIV transmission occurred; we have said that HIV cases have happened within the adult performer community in a very short period of time last year, but we have not said that they happened on the set. The opposition has said, and they said it today, that it did not happen on set. They don't know any better than we do whether it happened on set or not. The bottom line is, because it could happen, and we believe that it has, that doesn't mean it's right or it's accurate, but we believe it has, it's important to make sure that protection is available."

As previously noted, the industry does indeed know, because of its testing procedures, that transmission did not occur on set, and AHF has previously at least strongly implied that it had, and one might suspect that Martin's backpedaling here might have something to do with Peter Acworth's recent threat of bringing a cease-and-desist order against AHF for strongly implying that on-set transmissions did occur.

In the faraway magical Bullshit Mountain occupied and ran by AHF and Izzy Hall, facts that deviate from the party faith simply flow off their backs like....you know...crap through geese. "We don't know if it occured or not, and they don't really know either, but we BELIEVE people are DYING of AIDS because of them slutty pornsters not wrapping up with OUR brand of condoms, and Goddessdammit, we need to DO SOMETHING NOW before our gravy train runs out....ahhhh, I mean...before another performer gets infected and DIES!!!!!!" Also, I'd say that Cameron Bay's  and Rod Daily's (and Derrick Burts') paychecks from AHF are essentially cashed with the assertion that the idea that HIV was indeed spread on that Kink.com set is more than just a "strong implication"....whatever the actual evidential facts may be.

The discussion then turned to the porn performer surveys cited by Izzy Hall and AHF at the beginning to justify the condom mandate: the 2010 survey done by UCLA and CalOSHA, and the more recent 2013 survey done by UCLA, which were both used by AHF to allege that porn performers were up to their asses in STI's. The 2010 study had already been dissected and debunked by Lawrence Mayer (his pdf here); the later study has been effectively woodsheded both by Mark Kernes and this blog right heya. When Mark Leno attempted to call out these surveys for their lack of correlation and causation, this merriment ensued:
Martin, however, went on to tout two studies of STDs in the adult industry, one which was published in 2012 (and debunked here) and the other done just one year ago, which AHF touted at a press conference just two weeks ago, and which was much discussed on AVN.com. However, when Leno asked the proponents to respond as to whether those studies indicated correlation or causation, Martin asked Dr. Paula Tavrow of UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health to speak to it—and she dodged the question.

"Two studies were conducted," she said. "One in 2012 was conducted over—in a single clinic over a five-month period that ended I think in August, 2010, and in that study, we found that there was a 28 percent prevalence of chlamydia or gonorrhea among adult film workers, and then there was a second study that was just completed a year ago, in June, 2013, of two clinics and that found that the rate just of gonorrhea and chlamydia was 28 percent among that community of adult film workers."
Actually, for the record, the first study, authored by Dr. Robert Kim-Farley and Dr. Peter Kerndt (he being the one who gleefully backed the condom mandate as a means of forced mentoring of the public on "safer sex"), only quotes "up to one fourth" of porn performers as having contracted either gonorrhea or chlamydia, and then later rounds off those quotes to "between 15 and 25 percent". Not quite 28 percent there.  And, for those of you who missed that blockbusting infographic that AHF blew out when they released the findings of the second "survey", their percentage of performers stricken with either gonorrhea of chlamydia came out to 23.7 percent, rounded up to 24%...off again by four percentage points.

But who cares about such namby-pamby things about facts and controls when there's DEADLY VIRUSES floating around???
But when Leno reiterated that his question was whether the studies showed that adult film performing caused the infections, or simply that they found infections but could not state a cause, Tavrow admitted, "None of these studies can determine how someone acquired a disease," but later added, "The fact that, as Senator Hall was just mentioning, that it's ten times higher among the performers than it is among a comparable LA County population of 20 to 29 year olds does suggest to us that it was due to their work."
Yeah, that's right. Ten times higher. As compared to what control group that you call "comparable"? The ones that test as often as porn performers? You know, like the prison population, where condoms are few and far between? How many "civilians" don't even know they have STI's until they go to a clinic and test themselves when they become sick? Oh..and what about the rate of STI infection inflated by the high impact of HIV/STI's on the gay male community and the gay male porn industry, where condoms are far more the rule than testing, and seromatching is done to attempt to prevent cross-infection...and gay performers and civilians still succumb to the virus every year?? Are you saying, Ms. Tavrow, that only porn performers, not the public at large, engage in "high-risk" sexual acts that leave them more vulnerable to infections? What about other factors like sharing dirty needles during drug use or non-wrapped anal sex leading to tearing and bleeding, which opens up the real risk of blood-to-blood transmission of STI's?

Both Lorelei Lee and Diane Duke were ready for that nonsense, though.
This "suggestion" was refuted soundly by Lorelei Lee, who stated, "The UCLA studies that were mentioned, one factor in those studies is that they were looking at performers who went to West Oak Urgent Care clinic. This is not a testing facility; this is someplace where performers go when they know they have an STI, so if you were to test performers from that clinic, you would get a 100 percent result of performers who have an STI. I have seen what's been published of the study. I have not seen any peer review of the study. I also have not seen it compared to a comparable population. I do not believe that that has happened. I do not believe that there is a comparable population who tests as often as we do, for example."

"I need to point out it is not a published study," Duke added. "It has not been published. There is a poster out about the results, and it was presented at a conference, but it is not a published study. They used two facilities. One was a test facility that was a PASS testing facility; the other was a treatment facility, so it would be like, as Lorelei said, like going to an oncologist's office and saying everybody's got cancer. When you go to a treatment facility, you're going to be surveying people who are being treated, so that's why that is problematic."
The fact that even with all those cooked-up facts, created out of the the thin whiff of raw sewage, they still could find only 25% of adult performers in LA County suffering from either chlamydia or gonnorhea, speaks well about the discipline of the overwhelming majority of adult performers in playing safely, and the effectiveness of the screening system in place. The fact that even with 5 confirmed HIV infections within the last 3 years in the "straight" porn community, none of them have been found to have been caused by on-set action, and -- most importantly -- no other performers have been found to have been infected as a result of any of these acts -- speaks even louder about the effectiveness of the PASS system (and even the system ultimately refined by AIM before AHF targeted them for destruction as part of the condom mandate crusade. (And I won't even mention the inconvenient fact that two of those infections came from gay male condom-only sets. Oh, wait...I just did!!)

Diane Duke also addressed yet another of Izzy Hall's wack memes: the alleged failure of industry moratoriums to prevent the spread of diseases.
Duke also described how moratoriums work in the adult industry, pointing out that they're not done casually, but upon doctors' recommendations. She also seemed to take umbrage with Hall's earlier statement that, "While these moratoriums sound good to the press, they were unenforced and largely ignored by the industry."
Now, during the syphilis scare and dual moratoria of 2013, there were some real grumblings from porn agents and some models/performers about why they had to suffer the loss of income while waiting for nearly a month without pay; and there was one attempt by a porn production company -- namely, Dan Leal's Immoral Productions -- to break the second moratorium and shoot product (with condoms, of course) which ultimately blew up in Leal's grill after performers blasted him back. Also, remember the controversy during the syphilis scare from some performers (Lisa Ann leading the opposition) to being forced to take a syphilis vaccine when not afflicted due to medical complications and the lack of an effective testing regimen for syphilis back then? In any case, the fact that everyone was ultimately cleared confirmed that the moratoriums did do their jobs, though not without some economic pain to those having to pay bills in the internim.

If AHF had their way, of course, there would be no need for moratoria to begin with, because condoms would save both the world and the industry from all those bad STI's, allowing everyone, even those with full blown HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or even HPV, to gambol around and fuck freely. Either that, or softcore simulated porn would come in and save the day....I guess.

As to the other meme that "Condoms are already the LAW, HO-MAAAAYYY!!!" ...
Leno also asked the bill's opponents to comment on whether condoms were actually already required in adult film work?

"Regulation 5193 does not contain the word 'condom'," attorney Karen Tynan noted. "We have trial dates set on this issue on July 9, 10, 15 and 22-24 for two different companies, where ALJs [administrative law judges] employed by the state will be making determinations about the exposure control plan, but it's important to remember that that regulation, which was written in 1994 for healthcare industries, created exposure control plans that require testing that meets the standard of 5193, which says you either eliminate or minimize the hazard. We believe we eliminate or minimize the hazard with that exposure control plan through the testing."
 It should be noted that AHF has already won one case where they insist that condoms are the only true means of protection: the Treasure Island Media ruling where an ALJ upheld an earlier ruling (yet reduced the fine by two-thirds); that ruling is currently under appeal.

All of this was rendered a moot point, when both Senators Mitchell and Committee Chair Ben Huesco both declared in favor of the bill's passage, both citing the need for protection. Mitchell, though, did gently rap AHF for not addressing the plight of HIV+ Black women, whom she called "the hidden face of HIV". Considering that there is no AHF clinic in Izzy Hall's district in Compton, in spite of nearly five new cases of HIV every day, that probably would fall on deaf ears.

And speaking of Izzy Hall....the reverend closed his sales pitch for 1576 with an extra special and heretofor hidden punch to the groin of the industry...using Mr. Marcus' allegedly syphilis infected dick.

"I would just like to say, we had a witness here today, Cameron Bay, who very clearly stated that she tested negative and still had HIV while performing on the set, and you saw articles with Mr. Marcus in Los Angeles who was found guilty of infecting and exposing to a female to syphilis on the set and was fined $130,000 just this week and also served jail time," Hall lied. "She's really a person, she's present and she's telling you what happened. Mr. Marcus is a real person. The LA Times didn't just make up a story. It's the reality of what happens, and it's time that we start putting worker safety in front of profit in California."
Of course, it probably wouldn't even register in Hall's brain that if Cameron Bay was indeed infected on that Kink.com set, it probably was because of her own off-the-set sexual activity (or that of her boyfriend); or that Marcus not only did not infect anyone with syphilis (not even the accuser, Lilith Lavey, went that far as to say she was infected, only that he, through cloaking his positive test for syphilis in the face of unemployment, exposed her needlessly to the possibility of infection), but probably couldn't even have infected her because he had undergone the full treatment for the infection and was thusly unable to infect anyone. Even the jail time served was for a parole violation from a previous offense totally unrelated. (Also...condoms would not have prevented the spread of syphilis in areas not protectable by "barriers".) The LA Times may not have the ability to make up stories, but Isadore Hall, thanks to his benefactors at AHF, sure has perfected that art to a crossed T and a dotted I. And a great big L-I-E.

There was one bright moment for the opponents of 1576, though: Senator Leno declared his opposition to the bill in some of the most powerful and succinct tones possible, and it gives at least some hope if this bill ever reaches the full Senate.
"Some of the concerns that have been raised with regard to protecting the privacy of these actors, apparently overwhelming—I know it's anecdotal—opposition to the bill by those who work in the industry, concerns with regard to mandatory HIV testing, all leave me a little uncertain as to whether this is the right way to go," Leno said. "I would imagine with regard to Mr. Marcus, and I don't know why he wasn't fined more than he was, though someone of his ilk very likely could do what he did again even with this bill as law, and as a gay man who has experienced the HIV epidemic in San Francisco over the past 30, 35 years now, lost my own life partner to it, very close...  Those that I worked with in the community for the past three decades, the organizations that started it in the early '80s and are still foundation stones of our HIV/AIDS community in San Francisco, are not in support of this bill. They've remained publicly silent, though I've had some conversations with any numbers of them—I'll leave the names of the organizations out, but they're both treatment and prevention advocates for treatment groups and they have reservations about this—privacy, mandatory HIV testing, things that they have been on the frontlines for the past many years, so for those reasons, I will not be supporting the bill today."
 Alas, he was alone in his opposition, as Senators Mitchell, Huesco, and ultimately Padilla following a brief break, voted to move AB 1576 forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee. It could face hearing there as early as this coming week. After that, on to the full Senate, and then, if it passes that without amendments to be reconciled with the Assembly, on to Governor Jerry Brown's desk for signature or veto.

As always, we'll keep you updated on its progress or lack therof.


Porn Panic 2014 Update: AB 1576 Passes First California Senate Committee Test, But Not Without Fun And Frivolity (And More AHF BS)

First, the bad news: It's beginning to look more and more like Isadore Hall's bill for mandatory condoms and "barrier protection" and testing and verification, House Bill #AB1576, may stand a chance of passing after all, following its initial clearance throug the California State Senate's Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.

It still has to go through the Appropriations Committee and then pass the full Cali Senate before reaching Governor Jerry Brown's desk for his possible signature; but considering the money the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has to lobby legislators, and the apparent total dismissal of the concerns of porn performers and producers against the bill due to the latest sex panics, it's a lot closer to passage than could ever be conceived even a month ago.

I wish that I could be less pessimistic about the outcome, but from what I saw and heard about the Labor Committee hearing on the bill that took place on Wednesday, it's not looking so good. Not even the articulate arguments of performer Lorelei Lee or Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke could outdo the razzle-dazzle, presto-changeo, minstrel show clown act that Izzy Hall and AHF brought to the committee. This wasn't just a doubling down of propaganda and bullshit; this was a raising of two magnitudes of the usual AHF talking points, driven to new heights of hot, runny stinky garbage.

I'm using Mark Kernes' review of the committee hearing over at AVN as my template for commentary, since that's all we have right now.

First off, Izzy Hall kicked off the comedy act with his usual bait-and-switch.
For example, the first words out of Assemblymember Isadore Hall III's mouth as he attempted to explain the bill to the committee were, "AB 1576 is a workplace safety measure that would require employer-paid mandatory STD testing of adult film actors at least every 14 days, and use of a condom or other protective equipment in all adult films produced in California." Indeed, Hall wasn't the only one who's changed direction and called this primarily a mandatory testing bill rather than a mandatory "condom or other protective equipment" bill—and it should be noted that Hall referred to "other protective equipment" at least three times during the hour-long session.
This is particularly hilarious because previously Hall and his AHF cronies have effectively denied repeatedly that any part of this bill, or any of the proposed changes in "bloodborne pathogen"/"sexually transmitable bodily fluid" regulations by CalOSHA, would involve anything other than mandated condoms. Not face shields or goggles or dental dams or any other form of personal protective equipment required for industrial use...only condoms would be required. Riiiiiight. Never mind that the proposed CalOSHA regulations would not only force "barrier protection" for anal/oral sex, but would also ban even external ejaculation over any areas (face, vaginal, anal) where the possibility of "transmission" could occur, as well as any internal ejaculation in the vagina or booty not wrapped up.

Also...the newly formed respect for testing flies in the face of previous testimonials by AHF President Michael Weinstein stating that testing by itself is a fundamental failure and that with condoms, testing becomes a moot point. The previous attempts at mandating condoms did not even mention testing at all.
Hall also declared, "In 2013 alone, there were up to five documented cases of HIV transmission of adult film actors," even though, as activist/performer Lorelei Lee and Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke later noted, it has been proven that such transmissions did not take place on any adult movie set.
Yeah, five cases. Of which, three were confirmed cases of HIV caught by the PASS system (Cameron Bay, "Performer #3", and an unnamed gay male condom-only performer); the other was Rod Daily (Cam Bay's boyfriend, who managed to skip the PASS system right when he got infected and became, like Bay, AHF's paid missionary for the condom mandate); and the fifth turned out to be a false positive. Not to mention, no other performer who worked with Bay or Daily in any straight shoot turned up HIV+ either during or since they (Bay/Daily/P#3) tested positive for HIV.
Hall also claimed, as he did before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, "For all the talk that the industry will flee to Nevada, Nevada is already clear on its regulation of sex work. Sex work is not legal in Las Vegas. The counties that do allow sex work, condom use is mandatory, period. This is in addition to the fact that only two states in the U.S. allow for the legal production of adult film; that's California and New Hampshire. The adult industry's home is and will be in California. The fact is that the industry isn't going anywhere, and frankly, I don't them to go anywhere but in California, where they employ thousands of Californians, generating millions of dollars in tax revenues."
Doesn't matter that adult film acting is not considered "sex work" under either California or Nevada law, and that as Duke later noted, "A $30 million company from the Valley moved out of state earlier this year, and is happily working in Las Vegas, where they have welcomed us with open arms. They want the jobs, they want the ancillary jobs that come with this industry."
 The general gist of Hall's rant here is that the adult industry needs Cali more than Cali needs them, and that if they know what's good for them, they will just knuckle under and accept the condom mandate like good little menschs. Problem is, brothels aren't the only place to film porn; people can still use their smartphones and PC's/laptops to produce porn at home and bypass the regs, and porn can be made outside of even the US. Also..in Nevada brothels, condom usage is imposed on the clients of brothel prostitutes, not the prostitutes themselves. Plus, the opposite of "legally protected through legal precedent" is NOT "illegal"; there simply hasn't been a case like the Freeman case that has been tried as a template to determine the legality of porn as free speech expression.

Next up in the Clown Show was AHF legal counsel Rand Martin with a variation of the same-old same-old.

Rand Martin of AIDS Healthcare Foundation apparently sought to derail some of the opponents' arguments by claiming that condoms are already mandatory in California under CalOSHA regulations (even though nowhere in those regulations does the word "condom" appear); that the testing protocols in the bill are superior to those currently used by the industry (except that the bill mandates the CDC-recommended antibody test for HIV while the industry uses the far-more-accurate PCR-RNA test); and that performers' medical information won't be exposed to employers or government employees (although the bill clearly states that employers are required to certify that "the employee consented to disclosing to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health that the employee was the subject of a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test," and how would they know that without some sort of access ot the test results themselves?
Yeah...."superior". Because a 24 hour swab using an ELISA antibody test that has a 3-6 month latency period is far superior to the Aptima test with a 6-10 day latency period, backed up by Western Blot and three Elisa analyses tests, right? And, condoms never tear or break, of course. And....lots and lots and lots of lube.

And this nonsense that the documentation of adherence to testing and condom usage won't fall into government (or AHF) hands for misuse or abuse? Why require such things to begin with if you don't want "government employees" to have such information? And, once that info is gathered, what's to prevent it from being sold and channeled to private sources for either blackmail or propaganda or spamming purposes? Remember, it was 2257 info that was used to out Desi Foxx and for the original Porn Wikileaks (D****y L**g's version, NOT the modernized current version run by Sean Tompkins). Is there anything preventing, say, a Gail Dines or Shelley Lubben peep from attempting a FOIA action to reveal the medical records (and real names) of a performer whom is documented under this bill, and using it for nefarious means?
Martin also claimed performers shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions about whether to use condoms (and, one assumes, the "other protective equipment") themselves much as, "We don't let construction workers decide whether they're going to wear hardhats. We do not let welders decide whether they're going to wear goggles. We do not let doctors and nurses decide whether they're going to wear gloves in the operating room." But as Lorelei Lee pointed out later, in discussing vaginal chafing, or "condom rash" as it's called, which can cause micro-tears in the vagina which in turn cause an "increased risk of STI's," "Construction workers are not often harmed by their hardhats."
Of course, wearing hardhats at construction sites and goggles during welding and gloves during surgeries to protect against injury is a bit different from engaging in sex for long periods of time. People have been doing that for millenia without acquiring any STI's at all. In fact, the overwhelming majority of performers have been free and clear of disease and infection for themselves....mostly thanks to their own discipline in selection of on-screen partners and their own personal care in protecting themselves, and also thanks to the PASS screening system that AHF and Izzy Hall want to simply obliterate, all their bloviating aside.

But, that was only a prelude to the pathos of their chief victim/witness, Ms. Cameron Bay herself. And she executed her role perfectly, even adding an extra dose of conspiracy never before heard of.

"I was an adult performer last year between May and August," she stated to the committee. "July 31 was my last shoot. I got a job working for Kink.com as an adult—which is an adult film studio in San Francisco, and I was tested for STDs and I was available for work. When I got there, there was up to about 75 extras on set and none of them were tested. During filming, the main performer I worked with had cut his penis and then was bleeding. They stopped shooting the scene to clean up the blood. I wanted to use a replacement, and there was a replacement there on set, but they chose not to because they could not pay the performer, so in turn, I had to continue working with the injured performer and we did not use a condom. They did not have an effective exposure control plan and I had to carry on the scene without any protection at all. If I had asked for a condom, another performer could have replaced me or would have replaced me. I would not have been paid and I would have had to pay my fee to my agent, which means I would have been out of pocket close to $400 out of a payment that I never would have received."
Now, there is plenty of sympathy and empathy in me for Ms. Bay, who is indeed going through the crucible of a life-changing drama which will affect her for the rest of her life. Problem is, her story has more than a few, shall we say, issues with stated facts. Like: the known fact that it was her who bit into and ultimately bloodied Xander Corvis' penis, causing the stoppage. Or, the known and proven fact that neither he nor any other hetero performer (other than Bay and Rod Daily) who did that Kink.com shoot has tested positive for HIV either then or since. Or, also, the testimonial from other sources at that shoot who specifically stated that when the performance was halted, Bay was given the options of continuing the shoot both with and without a condom, or even having boyfriend Daily step in to finish the shoot, but chose to continue on as before, thinking that she would be OK.

Cam Bay's revelation that she would be removed if she didn't finish the shoot without the condom is a new charge that she never pushed in her previous testimonials...and it would violate Kink.com's protocols in their basic Model Rights, which explicitly states that once a performer is under contract and performs in their scenes, they are entitled to full pay even if they bail out of a scene due to any concern of injury.

But that wasn't the only bomb Cam dropped at that hearing:

Somewhat chilling was Bay's statement, "I could have continued working that whole week that I found out I was HIV positive, because my test said that I was still good to go in the PASS system. I still had a checkmark next to my name stating that I was cleared to work, and I could have infected a lot of people because I was in my most infectious state at that time. I followed the adult film industry's self-regulations and I stand here before you today HIV-positive."

Aside from Bay's repeated implication that she contracted her HIV on set, her statement taken at face value would suggest that she was not tested by an industry testing service because she would then have been mareked as "unavailable" in the PASS system. However, no matter where the test would have been taken, an HIV-positive result would have prevented her from working. [Emphasis added by me.] What she likely meant to communicate, though, was that there was a period of time (she characterizes it as a week) during which she was positive with the virus but had not yet been detected via a test, and it is her contention that she could have worked that week and unknowingly exposed others.*
Remember that Bay's positive HIV test was confirmed on August 21th using the PASS system; and her last clean test was on July 27th, also using PASS. Also remember that the minute a test shows "reactive", a performer immediately goes off the clear list database and is informed and referred for followup testing. The infamous Kink.com shoot was done on August 31st, four days after Bay was cleared for shooting. The Aptima test can detect traces of the HIV virus in a person's RNA basically within the first 6 to 10 days of serotransmission. That would mean that if Bay was initially tested on or around August 14th - 17th, the latest that the test would be able to find transmission would be August 4th. Also, based on the 14-day testing schedule enforced by PASS, Bay would have to have been retested no later than August 14th. It may be that Bay used a private doctor that was not part of the PASS system for her initial diagnosis before it was verified on the 21st, but there was no indication of that publically by her or anyone else....other than a series of suggestive tweets she posted to her Twitter account on September 3rd.

Now, it is functionally true that with 14-day testing, there is a small window where an infected performer could possibly work without his/her infection being detected until the next series of tests, thusly threatening other performers. However, the counter to that is that most reputable porn production companies insist on 2-3 day old clean tests in addition to clearance from the PASS database prior to hiring someone for shooting, and some performers require even stronger standards than that before they shoot scenes. Between that and the exercise of off-the-clock discipline and selectivity in sexual partners/sexual acts, this greatly reduces if not eliminates the risk of infection; and the cases where all infections since the Darren James episode of 2004 have been found to be off set with no other performers striken verifies that fact.

It should also be known that female-to-male HIV transmission outside of direct blood-to-blood contact is very rare in real life, let alone in the porn industry. The only possible scenarios even plausible would be that either: 1) Cam Bay (or more likely Rod Daily) was already infected by the time they did that Kink.com shoot, but somehow miraculously managed not to infect Xander Corvus....although given the short time frame between her last clean test and that shoot, that would be a statistical impossibility; or 2) Cam Bay was infected off the clock either right at the time of or soon after that shoot, most likely either by her boyfriend Rod Daily or through some other extracurricular activity she or he had. That would put to serious question whether her current "I am a victim" testimony (and that of Daily as well) is simply bending her (and his) experiences to fit the template of the condom mandate talking points in exchange AHF paying for her treatment (and, allegedly, other perks and goodies).

The rest of the pro-1576 testimony was anticlimatic, with nine persons speaking in favor....but one of those people raises some intrigue.
After the testimony by Hall, Martin and Bay, nine people registered their support for the bill, including one Sofia Delgado, who said she was HIV-positive and also implied that she had contracted it on a set—even though she has appeared in a grand total of two adult movies, both all-girl, and two solo scenes for SexuallyBroken.com.
My initial impresion upon reading this was that this could potentially be "Performer #3", the female performer that was confirmed on September 3rd to be HIV+; however, according to the expose done by TRPWL, that performer had done a boy-girl scene prior to the calamity of testing positive. However, there is that perfomer in 2012 that was a confirmed positive test using the original APHSS (the predecessor to PASS) system. Unfortunately, Mr. Kernes gives no followup info about whether Ms. Delgado tested using PASS/APHSS, or whether her claims of getting infected with HIV on set can even be verified.  Then again, AHF isn't known for their vetting of their advocates, as Derrick Burts can clearly attest.

 After that, the opposition, in the form of Lorelei Lee and Diane Duke, backed by a written petition signed by nearly 600 other performers and the physical testimony of 20 others, got their chance to shine. For reasons of space and out of respect for Mark Kernes' excellent journalism, I'll simply refer you to his article for the testimonials.

The next series of fireworks came with the questions from the committee members...and the answers were as awe inspiring as ever....in the same way a multi-train wreck is awe inspiring. I'll get to that in Part 2 of this essay, anon.

Friday, June 13, 2014

From Goddess Damn Lies To Straight-Up Agitprop Bullshit: The AHF "Porn Study" Debunked

You would think by now that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation wouldn't be able to bury themselves any deeper in their own assholes with all the lying in support of their condom mandate campaign. But, you quickly learn to never underestimate the ability of Michael Weinstein to raise the bar, deepen the ditch, and fill it up with more of his bullshit.

And this week, he managed to outdo himself.

On Tuesday, Weinstein had one of his many debriefings with the press where he updated them on the status of Isadore Hall's condom mandate bill, AB 1576, which was scheduled for its first hearing in the California State Senate later this month after passing the California Assembly earlier. However, this time, he also came armed with what he claimed to be the smoking gun that justified his campaign to force condoms down performers' throats against their will: a survey done by the UCLA School of Public Health which, according to Weinstein, proved that there was a "public health danger" involving porn performers having all kinds of monkey sex and catching STI's like dead meat catching maggots. The actual survey numbers are now posted as a PDF file online at AHF's website, but for the presser, Weinstein presented this "pictographic" which attempted to summarize the findings of that survey.


As you can plainly see, the attempt was to paint a picture of porn performers as oppressed, drugged out, abused, exploited, and basically unable to think for themselves on the subject of protection against STI's, such that the state absolutely had to step in and rescue them with condoms.

Never mind the fact that over 600 performers were lucid enough to sign a petition in direct opposition to Hall's bill, or the fact that, as we will prove, that this "study" is essentially cooked, seasoned, and topped with AHF bias from beginning to end.

Both AVN's Mark Kernes and The Real Porn Wikileaks have done fine efforts to debunk this agitprop, but there are some points that even their efforts do manage to miss which deserve additional attention.

First off, the background for the "survey" itself. It was first proposed by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's "Performer Advocacy Group" in 2012, during the peak of the Derrick Burts HIV scare. That that particular group was one of the most boisterous supporters of the condom mandate outside of AHF, and whose hearings and seminars on the issue of STI/HIV in porn were mostly biased antiporn rallies featuring the likes of Weinstein and Shelley Lubben, might have just a bit to do with the assumptions they precooked into the analysis. Remember how one such meeting attempted to entrap Mr. Marcus (before his unfortunate encounter with syphilis) into an ambush, forcing Free Speech Coalition head Diane Duke to intervene to give Marcus cover?

The primary hook that UCLA offered for performers to take the survey was simple research into how the industry was affected by STI's as opposed to the general population....but performers were also induced to participate with the promise of $40 gift cards and free followup testing and treatment. In the end, a total of 366 performers lent their bodies to this survey during the August 2012- Jume 2013 time frame.

Another very intriging and disturbing background is the involvement of Talent Testing Services in the formation and development of this "survey". Talent Testing was one of the two adult clinics in Los Angeles which took questions for the survey (West Oak Urban Care Center, which does not test but does offer treatment for those already suffering from STI's, was the other clinic...more on that anon), and TTS head Sixto Pacheco is listed on the byline as a survey author..but only in reference to his main clinics in Miami, not his LA branch clinics.

In addition to that, TTS was at that time locked in a pitched battle with what was then their rival testing clinic, Cutting Edge Testing, which just so happened to have the backing of both the Free Speech Coalition through their then newly hatched APHSS screening/testing system, and the porn production syndicate Manwin (now Mindgeek). TTS had refused initially to join the APHSS system ostensively due to issues they had with database privacy, although it was more widely suspected that TTS back then was more worried about losing exclusive monopoly of performer testing, and that they were in cahoots with certain talent agencies that didn't want a consolidated testing system that could get in the way of shooting could any incident of infection occur. (APHSS ultimately refined themselves into the current PASS system, and the events of 2013 forced a resolution of issues in which TTS ultimately adopted in full the PASS protocols.)

But at least, Talent Testing was a legitimate testing site. West Oak Urban Care Center?? Not so much. Quoteh Mark Kernes (emphasis added by me):
[A]ccording to the study, the surveys were provided to "adult film performers seeking testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at two clinics in Los Angeles." The study as it was released includes no mention of UCLA researchers themselves conducting testing or treatment. Also of note, one of the clinics mentioned in the study, West Oaks Urgent Care Center, is not a testing facility but a treatment facility. In other words, performers do not go to West Hills to get tested, but to get treated for conditions of which they are already aware.

In other words, unlike Talent Testing Service, which was presumably the other clinic that took part in the study, where talent does go to get their routine testing done, the performers who go to West Oaks Urgent Care Center are already either infected with something or seeking treatment for other ailments either work-related or not. But what the West Oaks pool of performers does not represent is a group of performers who, like the study claims, are "seeking testing for sexually transmitted infections." Put simply, as an already-infected or injured group of people, the West Oaks population used in the study are contaminated for the purposes of the study because, unlike the TTS population, there are no non-infected or uninjured performers patronizing West Oak. That contamination would, of course, also pollute the overall findings of the study by skewing them toward the very outcome that AHF wants.
One could only wonder what the results would have been if AHF and UCLA had allowed Cutting Edge Testing to be the other testing agency rather than West Oaks, thusly providing a much more accurate control group for their survey.

There is also this about West Oaks: its lead physican, Dr. Robert Rigg, Jr., was also listed on the byline as an author of the survey. Why is that disorienting? Because...

For one thing, among the people apparently identified as authors of the study, besides Talent Testing Services' (TTS) Sixto Pacheco, is Dr. Robert W. Rigg, Jr., owner of the aforementioned West Oak Urgent Care Center in Canoga Park. Also as mentioned, unlike TTS, neither Dr. Rigg nor West Oak are part of the adult industry's Performer Availability Screening Services (PASS) nor was West Oak an approved testing site even during the AIM era—ask any veteran performer about Dr. Rigg's reputation in the industry. So it's unclear what contribution Dr. Rigg made to the study, since performers attempting to test there could not use said tests to be "approved for work" through the PASS system—an approval required by the vast majority of Los Angeles area adult producers.

It is also noteworthy that APHSS, the predecessor to PASS and the heir to AIM, had only been in operation since mid-2011, and TTS has only been an APHSS/PASS endorsed testing services provider since mid-October, 2012, though it had been sporadically providing some information to APHSS for about four months prior to that time. However, while the UCLA/AHF poster states that the study method was a "Cross-sectional study of adult film performers seeking testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at two clinics in Los Angeles, CA," Pacheco is identified as representing "BioCollections, Miami, FL"—TTS's home base—making it even less clear which clinics provided the data used in the study.
So....why would AHF and UCLA go so far to include Talent Testing Services in their "survey", yet exclude their LA-based testing facilities?

Then, there is the omission of what was one of the main justifications for the survey: HIV. That's an issue because the original request for grant funding for the UCLA "survey" was heavy with the pathos about how STI's - including HIV -- were wreaking havoc on porn performers  and then the general society at large. Here's the money quote from UCLA's Pamina Gorebach in her pitch for the $$$$'s:

Los Angeles is the largest center for adult film production worldwide with an estimated 200 production companies employing up to 1,500 workers at any given point in time and producing and estimated 10,000 films per year. Throughout the course of their employment, adult film performers (AFPs) are routinely exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and are at high risk for acquiring and transmitting STIs including HIV as a result of high-risk work including multiple and concurrent sex partners over short time periods, high-risk sexual acts such as anal intercourse, and lack of condoms or other barrier methods.

Outbreaks of STIs including HIV have been well documented in the adult film industry.  In 2004, three HIV infections were acquired during filming in Los Angeles, after a male performer infected three female performers.  There is additional data to indicate that as many as one in three performers have other STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.  The STI prevalence among performers is extremely high and demonstrates that despite the industry's practice to routinely test performers for STIs, testing alone is not effective in preventing performers from being infected with STIs at endemic levels. Adult film performers are not an isolated community and performers may serve as a bridge population in passing STIs to and from the rest of the population.  Previous studies of AFPs show that the majority have at least one sexual partner outside of work and the prevalence of unprotected sex with these partners is high.   However, data on sexual networks, sexual risk behaviors, and the extent to which performers serve as a core transmitter group to the larger population is limited. 
It does seem that AHF went into the "survey" hoping that they would find some hidden HIV+ performers lurking within their control group pool....and having found none, they decided to switch the goalposts around and announce a general pandemic of "STI's"...never mind the fact that their original 2010 findings of rampant infections within the hetero talent pool have been proven to be quite fraudulent. It also does not quite square with the basic emphasis of pushing Darren James, Derrick Burts, Cameron Bay, Rod Daily, and other assorted HIV+ "victims" of the porn industry before every open microphone to prove just how the industry is pushing death and destruction on their talent, and only the strong wrapped fist of the government can step in and rescue them from their fate. Also, the original proposal was to also study the rate of syphilis, but apparently that effort failed because of lack of money to perform the necessarily tests.

Once again, though, all this is prelimanary until we look at and break down the actual numbers. AHF decided that the infographic pictured above probably wasn't enough information, so they decided to raid an Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV conference in Atlanta with a more detailed inforgraphic. A screenshot of the single page doc follows; the original can be found here.


First off, the base numbers: of the 366 performers who did respond to the survey, 274 were women (leaving 92 men, aside from the possibility of transgendered performers passing as either male or female); and 219 of them were White (though there's no specific racial breakdown of the participants).

Stunning number #1: 80% of the participants reported having done some shooting of porn within the past 30 days. That means that the other 20% -- which translates into roughly 73 performers -- did NOT perform any scenes within 30 days of participation. Of course, that says absolutely nothing about whether they were infected or not with any form of STI, or whether they engaged in some form of sexual activity in their private, not work life. In fact, the fact that one-fifth of the control group did not even shoot any porn to begin with should be the first red flag that something is just not right here...because how can you prove that porn performers are catching STI's in porn and then spreading it throughout society if a significant majority of performers don't even shoot regularly??

The breakdown of condom usage on set is as expected, with the overwhelming majority of performers choosing not to use condoms ever being 196. But, WHOOPS...there's something not quite right here. The percentage graphic listed shows 69% of performers not using condoms.....but my trusty laptop calculator comes out with only 53% (196 never used condoms/366 total sample). WTF?? Now, if you recalculated based on the denominator being those who shot scenes the past 30 days prior to being surveyed (366 - 73 = 293), then you get the posted percentage of 69%. So, why didn't the UCLA surveyors explicitly deliniate between the total sample group and the smaller group of those who had indeed performed scenes? I smell home cooking here, 'ya think?? Plus, there is the inconvenient fact of 30% of performers being able to use condoms at least part of the time while shooting. So much for the thought of "blacklisting" performers for using condoms.

The listing of sex acts performed is equally intriguing....with a distinct focus on the high risk "circus" acts such as double anal, gang bangs, double penetration, double vaginal, "creampie" (internal ejaculation in the vagina or anus) and fisting. Mark Kernes raised the issue, especially involving fisting, that many of those "circus acts" are more an enbodiment of gay male sex, where condoms are more used and HIV is far more prevalent. Considering the overwhelming female base of the survey control group, you could question that analysis.....but fisting is also a very popular act in some quarters of lesbian sex video making. The majority of acts listed, though, were the usual standards of creampie/internal ejaculation, followed closely by rimming, then gang bangs and DP. It should also be noted that the survey does not accurately measure whether any of those acts occur within the same scene or are part of seperate scenes....which would also tend to taint the sample percentage greatly.

Once again, all the percentages are somewhat inflated because they use the base of only those performers who were actively shooting within 30 days, not the entire base of performers responding.

That also impacts the "morals questions" that were asked of the surveyants, which seem to be deliberately put there as a means of propaganda.  Now, any producer who insists on unsolicited sexual favors as a prequisite for performers to shoot for them should be condemned properly and immediately by any respectable producer...but considering that sex is the actual occupation here, I'm not so sure that it should come to any surprise to anyone that extracurrucular activity would occur. As for "injury" during shooting sex? Well...getting your dick snapped by an overenthusiastic cowgirl ride is not the same as bumping your head against the headboard or pulling a hamstring attempting to sustain an anatomically difficult sexual position for the camera. Plus, the protocols specifically state that should someone test for any STD listed in the PASS protocols, they are immediately pulled from the available database to seek treatment. Any STD...not just HIV.

The "perform a sex act that you didn't want to do" question seems troubling...until you realize that many people in porn will often choose to do an act that they personally may dislike in real life simply to move themselves up the totem pole, to satisfy the demand of their fans, or simply to attempt to extend and expand their personal boundaries. They can also easily refuse to do such acts simply by not patronizing such producers.

The "not paid at the end of the job" thing is simply irrelevant pile driving, since that has nothing to do with condoms or STI's, and because it is a fact that most performers are paid for their scenes indirectly through third-party processors, through checks that can appear days after the completion of shooting.

Then we get to the "porn performers are such sluts" portion of the "survey", where the measurement of their private sex lives are supposedly exposed. Problem with that for AHF is, though, that the results reveal a quite passive group, with the overwhelming majority of performers sticking with their significant other or having only one or two other sexual partners for off-the-clock funtime. Naturally, they are usually condom free with their SO's; however, bear in mind that even off the clock, a small minority do choose to use condoms in their private lives.

But that's not all....UCLA and AHF aren't satisfied with merely slut-baiting performers; they must also drug-bait them as well. Hence, the inclusion of data about "substance abuse"...though the main  and most popular "drug" is listed as marijuana, which is only abusive to folk like Maureen Dowd and Puritan wannabes. As it stands anyway, only one-third of all performers are found to be hooked on drugs, and if you add the stoners to the list, you come up to 53% who are either drug free or using what is a relatively harmless product, even maybe legally as medicine. (Also...Xanax and Vicodin are included, but not alcohol???)

And even that is just a prelude to where the tornado really hits the septic tank...in the actual results of testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia. The box score tells the tale:


Actually, it doesn't tell the whole tale, because the raw numbers reflect sampling rather than actual totals based on active testing. Also, the numbers may reflect the same person having multiple infections in different areas being counted as standalone infections to deliberately inflate the count.

Compared to the AHF "infographic", the UCLA graph looks benign in comparison...especially since it breaks down by area of infection. Thing is, though, it only gives percentages, not the total number people who were found to be infected. That's a serious flaw, and potentially fatal, because it has already been established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that it is simply impossible to determine the etiology of a particular infection. Remember that one of the facilities used for the survey was a care center specifically for those who have been found to be infected and are undergoing treatment. That alone would introduce crippling bias into the system because the majority of the outside performer pool would avoid getting infected in the first place by screening and testing using the PASS protocols, which West Oaks simply does not use.

But what really grabs your attention is the flip side of what is being said: if 23.7% of adult performers are infected with either gonnorhea or chlamydia at one point in time, that means that 76.3% of adult performers are not infected. Considering Weinstein's assumption that porn performers are supposed to be so controlled by their dicks and clits that they run around fucking and sucking anyone and everyone in sight, the fact that they still remain relatively STI-free is both a testimonial to their discipline and the success of the PASS system.

Besides that, someone may want to pass on to Weinstein that chlamydia and gonnorhea are both relatively treatable and temporary infections which do not even incapacitate a performer for that long, as long as they are consistent with getting the proper treatment. It's not like HIV, which can essentially disable you for the rest of your life. Yes, I am well aware of the latest strains of chlamydia and gonnorhea that are more resistant to antibiotic treatment and are more dangerous, and that should also be taken into consideration when deciding how best to protect yourself, whether you be a porn performer or a civilian.

Basically, the bottom line for Michael Weinstein and AHF and their lackeys at UCLA is that because slightly less than one-fourth of the hetero porn talent pool risks getting infected from STI's, the other three-fourths must be forced to wear condoms and other forms of "barrier protection" for their own good and that of the general population. This isn't just the tail wagging the dog; this is the hair at the end of the tip of the tail wagging the dog.

And apparently, Weinstein isn't even content with merely regulating porn performers' lives on set, either. Another quote from Mark Kernes:
Weinstein also quoted one of the study's (or at least the poster's) conclusions that, "Given that most performers had sexual partners outside the industry with few reporting consistent condom use within the context of any partnership, targeted intervention strategies to limit the spread of STIs both within and outside of adult film work are needed." Weinstein used that "finding" to state that "the concern here goes beyond the adult film industry and that this is leading to a spread of STDs outside the industry as well as within it," but considering the (hetero) industry's testing procedures, isn't the problem more likely the other way around: That outsiders may be bringing STDs into the performer population?

Certainly, Weinstein and AHF have been derided previously as the "condom police," but does Weinstein and/or the study really seek to require adult performers to wear condoms even in their personal lives?
In other words, is Michael Weinstein's real goal to use porn performers as unwilling forced guinea pigs for "safer sex" practices in the general community as a test run for intimately regulating the sex lives of everyone?? That goes far beyond condom policing...Weinstein himself made up the more appropriate term for that kind of policy: "Condom NAZI".


*************************************************************

One final quote from Mark Kernes displays the sheer arrogance and totalitarianism inherent in Michael Weinstein's worldview, as directed towards one of his sternest critics, Nina Hartley, who probably forgets more about sexuality in one day than Weinstein knows in his entire life. His beef was with Nina's concern of excessive condom usage during long shoots leading to "friction burn" and micro vaginal tearage that could potentially invite even further infection.
By the way, the bulk of the 15-minute press conference was spent hitting many of the points dealt with above, but Weinstein went out of his way to bash vocal AB 1576 critic Nina Hartley and several other actresses when he stated, "In discussions by the industry about condoms, [it's said] they're inappropriate because they create a chafing... I won't go into graphic detail here, but you look at a lot of the practices that are being filmed and these defenders are involved in, obviously their bodies took a lot more abuse than would be there with a condom, and this idea of chafing is something that's really unheard of in the public health community." Really? Is there some other statistical group that has sex as frequently and for as long a time period—typically 1-2 hours at a time—that the "public health community" is familiar with and studied? No? So Weinstein really has no idea what he's talking about, does he?
In other words, what Weinstein is saying to Nina Hartley, Kayden Kross, Kylie Ireland, and other female performers who would rather make that choice for themselves, is essentially the equivalent of "Shut the hell up, b*tchez, and take that condom, because a little burn is a small price to pay for saving your wretched life from sure death from deadly disease. What's the matter, you scared of a little lube???" As if Nina isn't a bonafide member of the "public health community" through her years as a sexual rights and women's health activist, or a certified Registered Nurse with an actual college degree in nursing? As if Nina hasn't written books and done videos on safer sex and sexual health during her 30 years of service??

Needless to say, Ms. Hartley had a response to Weinstein's nonsensical whackery. As in, both barrels, and a stiletto boot up Weinstein's ass for good measure.
Hartley herself agrees: "I find it interesting that a man who does not own a vagina, does not work in adult entertainment himself, has not been on a heterosexual adult entertainment shoot deigns to comment on my body and the bodies of my co-workers as to our experience with condom shoots," she told AVN in an interview. "We're sick of Michael Weinstein mansplaining to us our own bodies and our own experiences. He's just a bully; he uses false information, he uses trumped-up stats, he uses non-existent studies to promulgate informatioin he knows is false for his own political ends. It's despicable and he is despicable.

"We are sick of hypocritical politicians like Isadore Hall, whose very own district is full of people who need help with HIV prevention, education and treatment," she continued. "I find it disgusting that there's no AHF clinic in all of Hall's district where they're desperately needed, and yet, Weinstein is still touting a solution in search of a problem, which is the presence of deadly diseases on adult film sets, and that we pose a risk to the general public. We do not. The stats show it, the results show it. Why doesn't he just let it go? Mainly, I'm really upset that he's telling me that my experience with my own body is somehow false or that I'm making this up. It's just astounding."
When Nina Hartley drops "mansplaining" on you, you've been thorougly and properly served.

Memo to Michael Weinstein: You're choking in your own ditch on your own poop. Stop. Digging.