Aug 24

Frequently Asked Questions About Performer Medical Privacy

faq1.    What the heck is HIPAA?

HIPAA is short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s a fancy name for the law that protects medical privacy of patients for the records that doctor’s offices and insurance companies maintain. There are numerous safeguard and requirements to make sure that each person has the opportunity to keep their medical records confidential.

2.    Do I have a right to know who has received my medical information?

Yes. Absolutely. You have the right to ask most healthcare providers for information on who has received your personal health information. Further, the healthcare provider must provide information about disclosures made to third parties. This is called an “accounting of disclosures.” It must include the date of the disclosure, the name of the person who received the information, what information was disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure. There are some exceptions for disclosure for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. HIPAA 45 CFR § 164.528, and California Civil Code §§ 1798.25 and 1798.28

3.    What if a clinic or doctor’s office says they will “redact” my records before sending them to some third party?

Redacting is a common legal practice where identifying information is blacked out of documents to help maintain the anonymity and protect the privacy of individuals. Unfortunately, that’s insufficient with regard to HIV test records.  If the records convey even “identifying characteristics” of the patient, those records should not be provided to any third party. Identifying characteristics such as gender, the fact that a person performs in adult films, possibly even the dates and locations of where someone tests could identify a performer.

4.    What else can I do?

Make sure you document your objections to sharing your information, records, and results. A phone call is not sufficient. Always read any paperwork you sign at a clinic or doctor’s office.

5.    Do I need to get an attorney?
No. Not unless the clinic or physician refuses to comply with your instructions.

6.    Why should I care? I have nothing to hide?
Remember that this battle is about every performer in the industry, gay and straight.  A group hostile to adult production wants to use everyone’s personal medical information to attack the entire industry. Small producers and directors, most of whom are working performers themselves, are the most vulnerable to this assault on production. We are encouraging you to protect your privacy and the privacy of your friends and colleagues.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=576

Aug 21

UPDATE for Performers/Patients of West Oaks Urgent Care

updateDear PASS Performers: It has been brought to our attention that a clinic at which many performers go for health care has likely received a subpoena for performer medical information as well.  If you have visited West Oaks Urgent Care Center (Dr Rigg) anytime between 2007 until now, it is likely that your medical information has been subpoenaed from that clinic.
If you have been a patient of West Oaks, we ask that you send an email to keep your medical information from being shared with AHF. Simply copy and paste the text into an email, sign by typing your name in the appropriate space, and send it to the following address:
Also… We will have additional information about HIPAA protections and medical privacy for performers on website shortly. Keep checking our website for more information FreeSpeechCoalition.com​.
DRAFT LETTER:
August 21, 2015
URGENT!!!!!Dear

​Dr. Rigg and West Oaks Urgent Care Center

I understand that Michael Weinstein as a party to the Measure B Litigation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Case Number 13-CV-00190-ddP-AGR) have issued a Subpoena to Produce Documents which include the medical information of patients identified as adult film performers or those associated with adult films.

As a patient of your clinic, I strongly object to the sharing or disclosure of any of my records, medical information, medical records, and personal identifying information. I hereby revoke any prior HIPAA waivers or permission granted to your clinic with regard to the above referenced subpoena.

Do not under any circumstances, even if redacted, provide any of the subpoenaed documents! I am asserting the protections provided by HIPAA, the Federal Constitution, the California Constitution, the California Health and Safety Code, and all other applicable State and Federal Statutes. You will be subject to monetary damages, attorney’s fees and costs if you do not comply with my request.

 

_______________________________

Name

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=572

Aug 21

Alert: Weinstein Subpoenaing Performer Medical Records

subpoena-1Earlier this week, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) served several testing centers with subpoenas, asking them to turn over confidential patient privacy data as part of their lawsuit on Measure B. This is a clear HIPPA violation, and an affront to performer dignity. As a healthcare provider schooled in patient privacy, AHF should be ashamed. AHF is hoping that by combing through patients’ private medical records, they can find something that would serve their political campaign.

For all its high-minded rhetoric about protecting performers, AHF has never cared much for performer privacy. In campaign after campaign after campaign, AHF has proposed regulations that would expose performer’s personal data to hackers, to stalkers, to the government and to AHF itself. It’s just one reason that performers have been so vocal in their opposition to AHF and Michael Weinstein.

Performers are not a public health threat. Performers are not a means to a political end. Performers are men and women who may work in non-traditional positions, but have the same right to privacy as anyone, including Michael Weinstein.

These subpoenas are unconscionable, indecent and offensive. Performers deserve better than to have would be ‘porn czar’ Michael Weinstein peaking through their blinds and snooping through their private medical records. We call on Michael Weinstein to call off this noxious campaign, and for the board of AIDS Healthcare Foundation to #RemoveWeinstein.

*If you are a performer, it is critical that you let the testing facilities know that you do NOT want your medical information given over to AHF. Please follow the instructions below:

Simply copy and paste the text below into an email, sign by typing your name in the appropriate space, and send one to each testing facility at the addresses provided. If you need further information, contact FSC at (818) 348-9373 or info@freespeechcoalition.com.

Cutting Edge Testing

info@cuttingedgetesting.com

​Talent Testing Services

info@talenttestingservice.com

DRAFT LETTER:

August 20, 2015
URGENT!!!!!

Dear Talent Testing Service or Cutting Edge Testing,

I understand that Michael Weinstein as a party to the Measure B Litigation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Case Number 13-CV-00190-ddP-AGR) have issued a Subpoena to Produce Documents which include the medical records of patients identified as adult film performers or those associated with adult films.

As a patient of your clinic, I strongly object to the sharing or disclosure of any of my records, medical information, medical records, and personal identifying information. I hereby revoke any prior HIPAA waivers or permission granted to your clinic with regard to the above referenced subpoena.

Do not under any circumstances, even if redacted, provide any of the subpoenaed documents! I am asserting the protections provided by HIPAA, the Federal Constitution, the California Constitution, the California Health and Safety Code, and all other applicable State and Federal Statutes. You will be subject to monetary damages, attorney’s fees and costs if you do not comply with my request.

_______________________________
Name

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=568

Apr 22

New Clinic Added to FSC PASS Testing Facilities

pitr_Syringe_iconFree Speech Coalition (FSC), as the administrators of the FSC PASS program for performer testing, are pleased to announce the addition of another clinic to its current roster of performer testing facilities. ASL – Adult Film Test Me is located in Sherman Oaks and open for business Monday through Friday, from 8am – 4:30pm, and by appointment on Saturday.

ASL-Adult Film Test Me utilizes nationally renowned Quest Labs for their testing procedures. Draw stations are available nationwide, including in the states of New York and New Jersey. A flat fee of $220 will be charged for full-panel tests. There are no additional draw or transportation fees for tests conducted at remote draw stations. Performers can expect a 1-3 day turnaround on test results.

Address and contact information for ASL – Adult Film Test Me is as follows:

ASL – ADULT FILM TEST ME
(888) 700-0083
(818) 305-3100
4955 Van Nuys Blvd., Ste 711
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

http://www.adultfilmtestme.com/

For more information on the FSC PASS program for performer testing, please contact Diane Duke at diane@freespeechcoalition.com or (818) 348-9373.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=563

Mar 21

Production Hold Update – Test Results False Positive

MegaphoneNEGATIVE

Confirmatory results from yesterday’s possible positive test for HIV by an adult performer have come back negative indicating a false positive. Production can resume immediately.

It’s important to remember that production holds are part of a functioning safety system. So long as performers have private lives, we can never eliminate their risk of contracting HIV. However, we can make sure that should a performer contract HIV, that we stop it before it is transmitted to other performers.

We understand that production holds are difficult, but they are necessary for the system to work. In the meantime, we thank everyone for observing the production hold.

For More Information:

Diane Duke

press@freespeechcoalition.com

Free Speech Coalition

(818) 348-9373

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=558

Mar 20

FSC Calls Immediate Production Hold

200px-Nuvola_apps_important_blue.svgThe Free Speech Coalition is calling for a precautionary production hold after a possible positive test for HIV by an adult performer using the PASS (Performer Availability Screening Service) system. The test has not yet been confirmed, and we will know if it is a true positive or false positive in the next day. If it is a false positive, we will lift the hold within the next few days. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of precaution, we will be retesting anyone who might have had contact with the performer within the testing window, and asking that producers stop filming until we know more.

The adult industry periodically calls for production holds when any possible positive tests surface.

Diane Duke
Chief Executive Officer
Free Speech Coalition
818-348-9373

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=556

Mar 11

Ocular Syphilis Cases Reported in California and Washington State

200px-Nuvola_apps_important_blue.svgSince December 2014, a number of cases of Ocular Syphilis infections (syphilis infections in the eye) have been reported on the US West Coast.

There have been no cases among Adult Film Performers, and performers who choose to participate in the Performer Availability Screening Services (PASS), are not considered at high risk due to the detailed bi-weekly health screenings. However, as part of an on-going collaboration between the adult industry and state and local public health departments, we felt it important to help raise awareness.

Only 10% of all syphilis infections impact the eye and develop symptoms such as blurry vision, floaters, a blue tinge in vision, flashing lights, or eye pain. These symptoms are so generic that they are often ignored or mistaken for something like pink eye. Misdiagnosing the infection and leaving it untreated can lead to blindness, and done damage is not easily reversible, but ocular syphilis is easy to detect and cure with the right tests and antibiotics. The recent cases highlight the importance of regular sexual health screenings and provider education.

The affected Health Departments, King County, WA, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, recommend that people should get tested for syphilis if any of the above-mentioned vision problems occur.

Condoms can provide some protection, but sores caused by Syphilis (chancres) allow the bacteria to also spread through skin to skin contact between body parts that condoms do not cover. These sores can develop anywhere on the body, and usually occur first where the person initially came in contact with the bacteria. While adult film performers aren’t affected, it is always wise to be vigilant, no matter who you are or how you choose to have sex.

Getting tested every three months is the best way to protect your health, especially if you have had ten or more sex partners, any other STI, used poppers or meth, or had condomless anal sex in the past year.

Fewer than half of adults age 18 to 44 have ever been tested for an STI other than HIV.  If you don’t want to go to your primary care physician to get tested, click here to find a testing site near you in the US.

Eric Paul Leue
Director of Sexual Health and Advocacy
Kink.com

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=540

Dec 30

RECENT DPH REPORT ADDRESSES NON-COMPLIANT OUT-OF-STATE SHOOT IN SEPTEMBER

Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health released information about an incident this past September concerning a performer with HIV working on a non-compliant adult film set in Nevada. This is, however, not a ‘current threat’ as stated in the press release.

At the time of the incident, the Free Speech Coalition immediately cooperated with the Department of Public Health, and called a moratorium to determine if there was any risk of transmission to performers on PASS compliant adult sets. Non-complaint shoots are one of the chief dangers of pushing the adult industry out of state, and outside the established testing protocol.

The shoots in question did not adhere to the PASS testing protocols and were shot outside of the PASS testing database used by adult performers. Not only did this leave those who participated at risk, it made it much harder to track scene partners once the possible infection was discovered.

While the set did use a degree of HIV testing, it fell below the standard set by PASS protocols, including the use of an ELISA HIV tests, rather than the highly sensitive RNA tests required by the industry. The ELISA tests have large window periods that delay how early an infection can be detected, and have not been accepted within the adult industry for over a decade.

Neither did the shoot utilize the PASS database. However, once alerted by the DPH to the incident, the Free Speech Coalition worked swiftly to shut down production within the larger industry and help track any possible exposures in or out of the PASS database. While performers in the PASS database were not affected, participants on the non-compliant shoot may have been exposed.

The adult film industry has been working with government agencies including Cal/OSHA to bring remaining producers shooting outside of the PASS protocols into compliance. The PASS system utilized by the industry is a proven testing protocol that has been effective in preventing any on-set transmission of HIV for more than ten years.

For more information about industry protocols, moratoriums and testing:

https://fscblogger.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/an-faq-about-stis-testing-and-moratoriums/

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=537

Dec 16

Measure B Decision will Hurt Performers

Policeman in Hazmat clothing with gieger counterThe 9th Circuit Court of California announced today that it would decline to issue an injunction to stop the Measure B, the 2012 ballot measure which seeks mandate condoms in adult film produced in Los Angeles County. This latest decision is not a ruling on the constitutionality of Measure B, but rather a decision declining to enjoin the rest of the statute at this time. Previous courts have struck down the enforcement component of the law; this latest ruling does not change that decision.

“While this intermediate decision allows that condoms may be mandated, it doesn’t meant they should be,” said Diane Duke, CEO of the Free Speech Coalition. “We have spent the last two years fighting for the right of adult performers to make their own decisions about their bodies, and against the stigma against adult film performers embodied in the statute. Rather than protect adult performers, a condom mandate pushes a legal industry underground where workers are less safe. This is terrible policy that has been defeated in other legislative venues.”

Los Angeles County has seen a 95% drop in permits since the passage of Measure B, as adult film production has moved into neighboring counties, and out of state, most notably to Las Vegas.

Under standards enforced by the industry, in order to work, adult film performers must test every fourteen-days for a full-slate of STIs, including HIV. There has not been a transmission of HIV on a regulated adult film set in over a decade.

“This decision will hurt performers,” said Duke.  “That’s why a broad coalition that includes doctors, public health advocates, performers and performers rights groups came together to defeat similar legislation this summer.“

Plaintiffs in the case are considering all options for moving forward and will make a decision in the coming weeks.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=533

Nov 07

Adult Industry Calls Weinstein Statewide Condom Bill “Misguided and Dangerous”

Condom-Police-300x240Performers and producers oppose Michael Weinstein’s dangerous and ill-informed attacks on the adult industry. This morning, he will announce that he will place a statewide version of his disastrous Measure B legislation on the ballot. Measure B, a Los Angeles condom ordinance, resulted in a 95% drop in permits for adult production, and spurred an industry exodus to Las Vegas.

Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition, released this statement:

“Michael Weinstein is resorting to the ballot initiative process because he can’t get it done any other way. His campaign has failed multiple times in the legislature, it’s has been opposed by HIV outreach and LGBT groups, it’s been opposed by civil rights groups, it’s been opposed by newspaper editorial boards and, most importantly, it’s been opposed by performers. Why? Because the bill not only takes away performers’ control over their own bodies, it pushes the industry out of California and underground, making performers ultimately less safe.

Anyone who looks at the data around performer health sees that Weinstein’s campaign is more about his dislike for the adult industry than it is about workplace safety. Despite shooting hundreds of thousands of scenes, there hasn’t been a transmission of HIV on a regulated adult set since 2004 thanks to a rigorous protocol that requires performers to be tested every fourteen days for a full slate of STIs including HIV. Yet because it attracts donors to his organization and headlines for himself, Weinstein has manufactured a crisis.

In his one-man war against the adult industry, Weinstein routinely uses performers who contracted HIV in their personal lives, and were stopped from working by testing protocol, as evidence of danger. It’s cynical and shameful, and he’s been reprimanded repeatedly by public health authorities for making claims that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

As a result, Weinstein now uses confusing language, most notably “the performers contracted HIV while working in the adult industry” to imply that transmission happened on a set without making the claim directly. (It’s like saying “Magic Johnson contracted HIV while working as a basketball player”). Having failed at the legislative level, he’s now hoping that he can use such language to confuse voters.

Michael Weinstein’s controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been under fire locally and nationally for using his taxpayer funded organization to enforce various versions of his conservative morality. His misguided morality campaign is not limited to adult sets — as part of his condom-only campaign, he has called for an end to HIV vaccine research, he opposed medication that can prevent HIV transmission, and he has sued the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles when they’ve opposed him.

Performer health is important. But performers, the most tested population on the planet, should have the ultimate right to control their bodies and their health. They don’t deserve to be shamed or treated as a public danger, or to have their rights trampled. Michael Weinstein is using taxpayer money to fund a campaign that is opposed by performers, public health experts, and civil rights groups, in hopes that he can use the ballot initiative to accomplish what has failed in every other venue. We, likewise, will oppose this.”

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/?p=528

Older posts «