Calif. Clinic That Catered to Porn Stars Closes
A health clinic that catered to porn stars in the San Fernando Valley has closed following a series of recent controversies, including complaints from an HIV-infected actor that he received inadequate care.
The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation is now shuttered, according to Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke. Her group is a trade association for porn.
The clinic was a preferred medical provider of many actors in the multibillion-dollar porn industry, providing a discreet environment for frequent HIV tests.
There is at least one other clinic that caters to porn stars, including Talent Testing Service, which is headquartered in Florida and has a clinic in Northridge.
The shuttered clinic’s executive director, former porn star Sharon Mitchell, told industry news outlet AVN that the clinic is officially closed "over financial hardship," declining further comment.
Calls to the clinic went unanswered and a call to the clinic’s lawyer was not immediately returned.
Last month, the clinic was accused of medical privacy violations after patient information appeared on a website. At the time, the clinic said substantial amounts of the information posted to an online wiki were not available in their database.
The clinic faced criticism from state and local health officials for failing to cooperate with an investigation into porn actor Derrick Burts’ HIV-positive diagnosis there in December.
The 24-year-old said he contracted the disease after a few months in the business, and instead of getting information from the clinic about how to get follow-up care, he was told to avoid media, change his phone number and leave town.
Later in December, the clinic was forced to close for improper state licensure, and reopened in February after getting its paperwork in order.
Burts came forward through the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an advocacy group has long campaigned for the use of condoms in pornography.
"Performers were poorly served by (the clinic) and are poorly served by an industry that places profits above worker safety," said AHF President Michael Weinstein.
Duke said the trade group’s board of directors will brainstorm solutions to continue providing STD screenings and care for performers. Duke said groups like AHF and public health officials have targeted the clinic for political gain and have lost sight of the service the clinic provided.
"If they were really concerned about the health and welfare of the performers, they would have been much more supportive (of the clinic)," said Duke.