- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Porn performers will soon be given a list of recommended health care providers for their frequent sexually transmitted disease testing, and results will be fed into a new industry database, according to a porn trade group.

Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke said Thursday her group will oversee the database as part of a new program intended to fill the gap created by the closure of Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation earlier this month.

“We will be able to provide a list of recommended providers to our performers and ensure they will have sensitivity to the client base that we’d be bringing to these providers,” Duke said at a news conference.

Known as the AIM clinic, the shuttered San Fernando Valley facility was a preferred medical provider for many performers in the multibillion-dollar porn industry, providing a discreet environment for frequent HIV and STD tests.

The Free Speech Coalition’s program to replace AIM, known as Adult Production Health and Safety Services, won’t open a new clinic.

“Unfortunately, the FSC is not in a position to set up a medical facility or a clinic,” said board member Christian Mann, who is also a general manager at Evil Angel Video. “One of the things we learned from the closure of AIM is to avoid overreaching.”

Within a week, Duke said, performers will be provided a list of labs and clinics where they can get testing and have their results fed into the database.

The password-protected database allows actors and producers to track whether performers have been diagnosed with gonorrhea, chlamydia or if they are HIV positive.

The database will tell users whether an actor is available to work or not, depending on whether they have any of the sexually transmitted infections the system tracks.

The system makes an exception for HIV-positive gay performers who still work in sex scenes while using condoms.

Former Los Angeles County STD program director Dr. Gary Richwald is serving the trade group as a consultant and says the group is now reaching out to medical providers with education to ensure sex performers aren’t treated with insensitivity and hostility for their work.

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” Richwald said about a doctor’s responsibility to advise a performer of the risks they face in porn. “We also want to provide assurance that the tests being done (at recommended medical providers) are the best tests available.”

The AIM clinic was forced to close permanently earlier this month following a series of controversies.

After porn actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed HIV-positive there in December, state and local officials said the clinic failed to cooperate with their investigation into other possible infections. Burts said that instead of getting information from the clinic on how to get follow-up care, he was told to avoid media, change his phone number and leave town.

The clinic was also accused of medical privacy violations after patient information appeared on a website in the run-up to its closure.

Kink.com founder and FSC board member Peter Acworth has led the database development and said his experience thwarting hackers on his site played into developing a secure environment for the performer’s information.