One of the most direct ironies was that it was Violet Blue (the sex blogger notorious for taking the name of a porn performer) who passed on the fatal news today.
Nevertheless, here's how she reported the story of the shutdown of the AIM clinics:
Considering everything that has happened to them: the HIV scares of 2004, 2009, and 2010, the continuous assaults on their integrity by the likes of the LA local health care establishment, Michael Weinstein's AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the antics of the Pornwikileaks crew in hacking their database and revealing sensitive information, and antiporn activists such as Shelley Lubben and Gail Dines wanting to blow up the testing regime that had worked pretty well to contain sexually transmitted infections amongst the performing community, it's hardly surprising that they would be able to withstand such pressures for too long.
Porn performer Juliette Stray just tweeted about the sudden closure today of AIM (Adult Industry Medical) Healthcare Clinic. According to Raincoat Reviews, the Free Speech Coalition (a porn industry legal org) called an industry and member-only meeting last Friday to discuss Workplace Safety, Performer Testing. As you can see by Sarah Shevon’s tweet, only seven porn performers attended the meeting. Apparently at the fateful meeting, they quietly decided to abruptly close the clinic responsible for standardized STD/STI testing, health certificates and community testing enforcement in the mainstream adult industry. AIM was also used by non-porn people for its top-rate tests and fast results.
AIM has not issued a press release nor made any comment or hint on their website that they have closed. Disturbingly, their site AimCheck.net has been taken offline. This means anyone who had good tests can no longer access the test results or have them accessed – the online proof and verification of having clean tests is gone. AIM’s Get Tested link is also broken.
It doesn't make the news any less saddening or tragic, because it shows beyond doubt what a scare campaign built on nothing but fear and lies can do when not directly confronted.
Far worse, though, is the "I got mine, and fuck everyone else" mentality that seems to have infected members of the performer/producer industry when it comes to protecting their rights. Only six performers could be induced to attend a meeting on their very survival as an industry???
In any case, I'm sure that the champagne bottles are popping over at Mike Weinstein's place, since it's a given bet that they will be able to exploit the chaos of not having a standardized testing regime for STI's (though Talent Testing Services is well positioned to take over AIM's duties for the moment) to continue their push for mandating condoms in all porn scenes. I'm just as sure that the tube sites will be celebrating as well, because all this will do is increase the value of stolen bareback scenes ripped to tube sites and stored on PC's and servers, and force performers and producers into venues of less protection and greater risk.
But who the fuck cares, I guess?? Such are the wages of sin..or at least, that's how the usual naysayers and trolls will say it. Porn performers are a bit like children, "illegals", and poor Black men: stepping stones to be used for personal gain and money, but not quite good enough to speak for themselves.
Maybe it's high time they organized themselves and demanded to be treated as humans. And, maybe producers might want to take a very long look in the mirror and see what their foolishness and misplaced pride has gotten them, and get back to what got them their audience in the first place.
Update: The Free Speech Coalition just issued this press release at their website regarding the closure of AIM. I will simply repost it in its entirity:
AIM Medical Associates (AIM) was in danger of closing its doors. In order to avoid a significant gap in health services for performers, FSC has drawn up preliminary strategies to fill the gap with possible options for performer testing protocols. The FSC Board of Directors will meet tomorrow for an emergency meeting to consider options.
“It is our understanding that AIM is now closed. Our hearts go out to AIM and its dedicated staff. We know that it has been a very difficult time for them,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “Rest assured that FSC is committed to making sure that the industry and its performers are well-protected.”
Last Friday, FSC conducted three separate meetings for producers, agents and performers to gather feedback and discuss options with industry stakeholders. The response from those meetings was successful in gathering suggestions from industry members on which options to pursue and for taking action.
AIM has suffered a two-year campaign waged by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and is currently a defendant in litigation associated with AHF involving patient medical privacy. AHF also has struck out at several companies and talent agents in their attempt to mandate condom use on adult sets.
FSC has been working with industrial safety regulation agency CalOSHA to develop industry-appropriate regulations for adult production sets. The next CalOSHA Committee meeting addressing regulations for the adult industry will take place in Los Angeles on June 7. The meeting is open to the public, and scheduled to be held at the CalTrans Building in downtown Los Angeles, at 100 Main Street (at the corner of 1st and Main).