State Health Department Inspects AIM, Finds Nothing Amiss

VAN NUYS — Apparently the Los Angeles County Department of Health (CDOH) doesn't communicate with the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), since the DOSH claims to have little if any information on the 18 alleged "additional" HIV-positive (HIV+) cases that AIM properly and timely reported to CDOH over the past five years.

Or as the Los Angeles Times put it, "Tired of waiting for a response from the San Fernando Valley-based health clinic where an adult film actress recently tested positive for HIV, state health and safety investigators Wednesday performed a surprise inspection of the medical offices..."

DOSH's "tiredness" came even though the adult actress who, on June 6, tested positive for HIV has been under medical supervision since her status was first determined, and even though AIM has gotten a complete list of all of the actress's sexual contacts since her infection, and both quarantined and tested those (two) persons – and even though, according to the Times, AIM founder Dr. Sharon Mitchell told DOSH and CDOH that she was waiting for final confirmatory tests on all involved, and that legally the clinic has up to seven days to report the information.

But having followed Health Department protocols to the letter apparently wasn't good enough for DOSH: They're getting a subpoena for a variety of AIM confidential records anyway.

"If you're going to err, err on the side of caution; don't say let's wait another seven additional days and meanwhile, let's go make some more unprotected films," said DOSH special counsel Amy Martin, betraying her complete ignorance of the "situation on the ground." "We think they're creating a hazard by sending people into a known unsafe work practice. They're who the industry relies on to stop the people from working."

And the fact that AIM did in fact stop the people from working? According to the Times' story, Martin thinks AIM's 30-day testing protocol and immediate notification of infectious situations is "not adequate protection."

"The only protection is condom use," Martin told Times' reporter Kimi Yoshino.

Perhaps of interest: DOSH was prepared to obtain a court order to inspect AIM on Wednesday, "but when investigators arrived at the Sherman Oaks facility Wednesday afternoon, clinic officials let them in and cooperated," Yoshino reported.

"They allowed our people to do a walk-around. They allowed them to speak to employees." Martin told the Times.

But that wasn't good enough for DOSH; hence the impending  subpoenas demanding access to confidential patient records.

Dr. Mitchell was not available for comment at press time.