I’ve gone on record as being a critic of AIM and how things were handled when they were the de facto testing facility for the adult industry. I’ve had many negative experiences getting my blood drawn from their facilities, and I voted with my wallet to get tested at another private facility in the Valley — contrary to popular belief, most producers do, in fact, take tests outside of AIM.
That being said, its demise was no great loss, so far as I was concerned. I expected more of the same when the Free Speech Coalition made public their plans known for the organization they were planning to succeed AIM, the Adult Production Health and Safety Services. As the old saying goes, expect the worst because if it’s anything else you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
When I went to the APHSS facilities myself, I expected the worst. But I left much more than pleasantly surprised. The facilities were top notch. The medical support in place at the draw station, in case any questions came up or in case you want or need any additional medical consultation, is amazing. The online database the service offers simply answers the question if a performer can work or not. No private data and no medical data can be found in it. It the system we should have had to begin with.
I’m also impressed with the proactive direction the organization is taking. Their legal advisor has already taken Cal/OSHA and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to task for conflicts of interest and for focusing an undue amount of attention on the adult industry, rather then, say, the amount of sun farm workers are exposed to.
It’s the perfect answer to the sort of fear-based position groups like Cal/OSHA and the AHF are taking. I’m sure that in the case of Cal/OSHA it’s because they’ve been prodded to look like they’re doing something by groups like the AHF, and in the case of the AHF, they’re just doing this as a grab for more donations. I’m sure they’ll meet with their donors and proudly tell them, “Look at the evil, nasty adult industry and see how we’ve tamed it, even though we have no stake it and we’ll just drive porn production underground where I’m sure organized crime will do a great job in keeping it safe!”
If safety were really the issue here, they’d realize how safe this industry is, with the evidence being how much lower the AIDS rate’s been than the general population since mandatory testing’s been in place. Of course, they don’t want to hear that, because it doesn’t mean a bigger budget for bureaucrats or fatter checks for “charities.”
Researchers at Columbia University are working on a computer chip that will detect syphilis and HIV in 15 minutes. (see linked article: http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/04/1-chip-tests-for-hiv-in-15-minutes-flat-fits-in-your-wallet/) Obviously, if they can create something that detects those diseases it’s only a matter of time before it also tests other venereal diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea — or all of the diseases that we’re tested for. They’re expecting the final product to be the size of a credit card and to sell for less than a dollar a piece.
On demand tests is a breakthrough that is extremely compelling to anyone working in the sex industry. I look forward to the day when technology like this puts busy bodies like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation out of business and takes the wind out of government agencies that have no business sticking their nose in the adult industry.