In another sign of how desperate the proponents of Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative, have become, a purportedly “new” study of sexually transmitted disease data was released today which was quickly denounced by the No on Government Waste Committee as a rehash of old 2010 data previously released and discredited in a desperate attempt to win back voters already committed to voting no against the ill-conceived ballot initiative.
“This study uses old data gathered in 2010 whose previous work was discredited by noted epidemiologist Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer who noted how poorly the data used by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was collected and analyzed,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee.
“It’s a cynical attempt at a last-ditch effort to influence voters who have already decided to vote against Measure B due in large part to the overwhelming endorsements of newspapers, political parties, business groups, healthcare organizations and community advocates.”
The study in question which ran in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, purports to have reviewed the disease status of 168 “performers” from a Los Angeles-clinic treating them in 2010. Although the name of the clinic was not disclosed, Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which was closed after a flurry of frivolous lawsuits by AHF, was the industry supported clinic treating performers at the time, according to the No on Government Waste Committee.
The Committee noted that AIM treated not only performers, but any citizen who wished to be tested for STDs. It is these additional patient loads of non-performers, or people wishing to perform in the industry, but were not allowed to after testing positive, that were previously included in research work conducted by Dr. Peter R. Kerndt, who also participated in this study, demonstrating the erroneous nature of data analysis.
“AHF knows for a fact that its original argument for Measure B, to prevent HIV infection, has fallen flat on its face after we have demonstrated that no performer has contracted HIV on-set since 2004 so now it has shifted the attack to focus on STDs by using faulty data analysis to try and make Measure B more palatable to voters,” Lee said.
“It won’t work because voters are now well acquainted with the desperate campaign tactics of Michael Weinstein and vitriolic hyperbole of AHF.”
The STD Journal study is not a scientifically valid survey sample since there is no representative control baseline sample, nor any differentiation on how the sample was culled, or the prevalence of STD rates for all patients seeking treatment at the clinic in question as a whole, Lee said.
“This study is akin to someone standing outside of a coffee house and asking people coming out with coffee if they like coffee and then ascribing that small survey sample to the entire population of a city,” Lee added. “It’s noteworthy that in a previous study by Dr. Kerndt that was analyzed in 2011 by Dr. Mayer, it was found to be not only ‘inaccurate, but also misleading and inflammatory toward the risk of contracting an STD in the adult film industry.’”
Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel.
The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.
According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers who did not contract the disease on-set. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set. In fact, with the industry’s strict testing protocols – requiring testing at least every 14 and 28 days for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation.