SAN FRANCISCO—AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced today that it had filed a “Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards” complaint yesterday with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) regarding filming of sexually explicit content by Kink Studios LLC and Kink.com. The complaint alleges that the companies “may have exposed employees—adult film performers—to infectious disease by exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials” during recent filming at the studio.
The basis for the complaint is a scene shot on July 31 for the Kink.com website PublicDisgrace.com, which featured adult performer Cameron Bay and several male partners. Bay’s most recent HIV/STD tests before that filming were dated four days earlier, on July 27, and it was revealed just last week that Bay now tests positive for the HIV virus—a disclosure that has led to a moratorium on all adult production in the Los Angeles area and elsewhere.
While almost all of the performers who had had sex with Bay have now been tested and found to be negative for the virus, the “window period” for the test is approximately 14 days, which means that Bay could have contracted her infection as early as mid-July, though that is considered to be unlikely.
“The landscape around adult film has changed dramatically in the last two weeks, to the point that action to protect adult film performers from disease is more urgent now than it has ever been,” claimed AHF president Michael Weinstein in a press release. “We sadly now have this latest adult performer infected with HIV—the basis for our Cal/OSHA complaint—a previous case of Hepatitis C found in another performer and a recent industry-wide syphilis scare. At the same time, a federal court recently ruled that requiring worker safety protections such as condoms in porn is constitutional. As such, we believe it is imperative that the California Legislature act this year to enact real protections for adult film performers.”
Unmentioned in that press release is the fact that Vivid Entertainment and the other plaintiffs in the Measure B lawsuit have appealed Judge Dean D. Pregerson’s mandatory-condom ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and that the “industry-wide syphilis scare” was indeed just a scare, as the male performer in question tested negative after initial inconclusive results.
Kink.com owner Peter Acworth bristled at Weinstein’s complaint and remarks.
“There is no indication of the transmission of any STI on a Kink.com set,” assured Acworth in response to the news of the AHF complaint. “Indeed quite the contrary. We take bloodborne pathogens and safety protocols very seriously at Kink.com, and we aim to cooperate 100 percent with CAL-OSHA.”
“Cameron Bay did indeed perform at Kink.com on July 31,” he continued. “Cameron tested negative on July 27 via the most sensitive HIV tests available, and was thus shown as cleared for work in the industry PASS (Performer Availability Screening Services) database, as were all those persons Cameron performed with. Additionally, those same people Cameron performed with on July 31 tested negative for HIV again after that shoot. It is my understanding that Dr. Miao of PASS has established the possible window of infection to have started after the Kink.com shoot of July 31. Bloggers and uninformed pundits have assumed that because Cameron did not perform after July 31, that Kink.com must somehow be responsible for a transmission of an STI. This is an irresponsible and slanderous accusation.”
“It is thanks to the integrity of the PASS database that we are able to quickly respond to a positive test result, instigate a moratorium, and thus protect performers while everyone is re-tested,” he added. “We currently await definitive information from Diane Duke, Dr. Miao, and the PASS system. I continue to be of the belief that what AHF appears to want at all costs—mandatory condoms—would jeopardize the integrity of the PASS program by pushing productions overseas and/or underground to a point where testing protocols are no longer so vigorously followed. I believe performer safely would be compromised as a result.”
In any case, this is not the first complaint AHF has filed against adult producers. The press release goes on to note that in 2009, AHF filed complaints against 16 “California-based film companies,” several of which had not shot the charged videos in California, as noted in AVN’s report on CalOSHA hearings in the Bay Area earlier this year. AHF has filed several more complaints since then, one of which resulted in a $14,000 fine against Hustler Video in 2011.
“To date, Cal/OSHA has opened investigations into several of the companies, has cited and fined several, and is still evaluating and considering additional investigations of some of the remaining companies,” AHF’s press release states.
Just one question, though: Is AHF still selling bareback videos in its thrift stores?