Op-Ed: What Else Is AIDS Healthcare Dishonest About?

LOS ANGELES—Well, it only took eight hours after the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, at AIDS Healthcare Foundation's behest, stuck it once again to the adult entertainment industry, for AHF to send a press release crowing about that fact—but finally, there's video evidence of the organization's dishonest tactics for all to see.

As AVN noted yesterday, the Board of Supervisors meeting took up the question of how much the county Department of Public Health should charge adult producers—everyone from big studios to small independents even to cam girls—to enforce Measure B's condom/barrier protection mandate in hardcore productions. Trouble is, Measure B's mandates don't go into effect until May 2019, but the rates voted in by the supervisors—$1,671 for a two-year health certificate and $65 for an inspection—apparently take effect immediately, even though the Health Department has yet to finalize an inspection program for adult productions. There was some talk about using the funds to enforce the California Health Code's Sec. 5193, but the county actually has no role in that; that's all on Cal/OSHA.

But even as it trumpeted its "victory" on Tuesday evening, AHF still can't help lying through weasel-worded statements like this: "When Measure B first was passed by L.A. County voters on November 6, 2012, AHF served 230,000 HIV/AIDS patients in 27 countries around the globe," AHF's press release states. "Today, more than four years and nine months later, AHF cares for nearly 800,000 HIV/AIDS patients in 39 countries—including caring for several former adult industry performers who became infected with HIV while working in the industry."

"[W]ho became infected with HIV while working in the industry"—what a load of crap! As everyone at AHF must know by now, there hasn't been an on-set HIV infection in the mainstream adult industry in more than a decade, and certainly not among the troupe of former performers the organization usually trots out to "prove" its point: Cameron Adams, Joshua Rogers and former escort Derrick Burts, none of whom became HIV positive while performing in a hardcore scene for an adult industry production company.

Of course, it's not surprising that AHF would be "serving" 570,000 more patients in 12 more countries than it did just under five years ago. There's a lot of HIV out there in the world, and not nearly enough agencies providing education, condoms and other resources so more people don't contract the disease. But the point is, NOT ONE of those extra 570,000 patients was infected on an adult industry set. Hell, it's likely that not one of those 570,000 patients has ever set foot on an adult industry set!

And speaking of people who have never set foot on an adult industry set... Those who attended the Board of Supervisors meeting couldn't help but notice that there were about 75 people, mostly Hispanic, in the meeting hall, crowded together in the center section, wearing "Enforce Measure B" t-shirts; some even brought their dogs with them. The adult industry attendees weren't too surprised to see them; whether it's a Board of Supervisors meeting, a Cal/OSHA Standards Board meeting, a UCLA Reproductive Health panel or wherever condoms are being discussed, AHF sends in whatever troops it has available at the time.

But this crowd was a little different. As prominent adult directors Brad Armstrong and Adam Christopher discovered—and filmed—all of those AHF "protesters" were paid off for attending with $50 gift cards, handed out by an AHF employee as the "protesters" filed down Temple Avenue once the "Measure B" part of the meeting was over. And as the directors recorded, many of the "protesters" had no idea why they were there; they just knew they'd been promised gift cards for attending.

Of course, that's pretty much the same way Measure B was put on the ballot in 2012 in the first place: Signature gatherers employed by AHF told potential signers that they would be "protecting the women in the adult industry," even though, again, no one in the industry had contracted HIV in more than eight years—and of course, nowadays, with comprehensive 14-day testing and the availability of the HIV-preventative Truvada, performers are safer than they have ever been.

See Brad Armstrong's "undercover" video here, and Adam Christopher's here. Watching either video should give adult industry supporters a good idea of how dishonest AHF has been throughout its entire eight-year attack on the adult entertainment industry—and until that organization's board of directors gets its president under control, this crap will keep happening.