Oct 20

Production Hold Lifted

200px-Nuvola_apps_important_blue.svgThe current production hold has been lifted. FSC’s statement is as follows:

The Free Speech Coalition announces that the production hold from last week has been lifted, and production can continue effective immediately. A production hold was called when it was determined that a performer in the PASS database might have been exposed to HIV in late September, after off-set contact with a performer from an out-of-state set that was not observing PASS protocols. We called a production hold while we conducted precautionary testing with that performer and anyone he or she performed with. All precautionary testing has been completed and there is a medical determination that the performer pool has not been compromised.

Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition, thanked producers and performers for honoring the hold over the weekend.

“We know that production holds and moratoriums are difficult for performers and producers, but they are integral to the safety of the PASS performer pool. We also realize that the lack of information in these situations can also be frustrating; however, it’s crucial that we maintain medical privacy for the performers involved.”

“The PASS database and protocols are crucial to protecting performers. This is why we are working so doggedly on regulations that will encourage full compliance with PASS no matter where they shoot.  All indications are that full compliance with the PASS system continues to protect performers and prevent on-set transmissions. In addition, our moratorium protocols effectively provided testing and prevented any compromise to the performer pool.”

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/production-hold-lifted/

Oct 17

UPDATE: Production Hold Extended

FREE SPEECH COALITION EXTENDS PRODUCTION HOLD THROUGH MONDAY
The Free Speech Coalition is asking that all producers extend the current production hold through Monday until all tests for possibly affected performers are conclusive.
Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition:
“We understand that production delays are difficult for performers as well as producers. However, as always, for the safety and intergrity of the performer pool, we need to err on the side of caution. We will continue to work with producers, performers and the health department to investigate, and determine when production can safely continue.”

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/update-production-hold-extended/

Oct 15

Free Speech Coalition Calls Three-Day Production Hold on Adult Film

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The Free Speech Coalition has called for a three-day hold of production while it investigates a possible positive HIV exposure on an adult set. Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition released this statement to the press:
“As with past production holds, we ask that people refrain from speculation until more news is forthcoming, and respect performer privacy. We are currently working with the public health department, the production company, and the performer, and will alert as more information is available.”
The Free Speech Coalition periodically calls production holds and moratorium if there is a possible risk of HIV within the adult film community. Moratoriums are an important part of the safety protocols in adult film, but does not signal an actual on-set transmission. The adult film industry has not seen an on-set transmission of HIV in over ten years.
For More Information:
Diane Duke
Free Speech Coalition

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/free-speech-coalition-calls-three-day-production-hold-on-adult-film/

Aug 29

FSC Lifts Moratorium After Test Results Prove to be False Positive

First generation tests have been returned cleared; production may resume

Yesterday’s potentially positive HIV test by adult performer was a false positive. The performer does not have HIV.  Additionally, the first generation performers who were tested proactively have also come back negative. Production on adult film can resume safely.

We understand that a moratorium is nerve-wracking for performers and difficult for producers. However, it’s essential that when it comes to performer safety, we err on the side of caution. We thank the producers, performers, agents and doctors who worked together during this difficult time for maintaining the moratorium, and for quickly helping establish a list of first generation contacts. While this was a false positive, it is always essential that we remain vigilant in concern to performer health.

The moratorium and testing system has enabled us to prevent any transmission of HIV on an adult film set for over ten years. While opponents of the industry often use our periodic moratoriums as evidence that adult sets are not safe, quite the opposite is true. Moratoriums have and continue to enable us to prevent HIV from being transmitted between adult performers.

Again, we thank everyone who worked so diligently and concertedly to protect performers during this current moratorium.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/fsc-lifts-moratorium-after-test-results-prove-to-be-false-positive/

Aug 27

Update on Performer Subsidy Fund

Dear PASS Participants,

We want to make sure all performers take advantage of the Performer Subsidy Fund.

Below is information about the PSF program. If you are a performer already receiving subsidy checks, no action is necessary – you will continue to receive them. And remember, if you have a change of address PLEASE contact us with your new address. If you are a performer not signed up for the program, make sure to email Julie@freespeechcoalition.com and include your LEGAL name and current address or call 818-348-9373.

Thanks,

Diane Duke

CEO, Free Speech Coalition

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/update-on-performer-subsidy-fund/

Aug 27

Christian Mann, 1961 – 2014

christian mannAfter a long and courageous battle with cancer, FSC Board President Christian Mann passed July 30, 2014. FSC not only lost its Board President, but also a dear, dear friend. Christian’s FSC accomplishments are numerous and exceptional. They include founding PASS (Performer Availability Screening Services) and unprecedented industry organizing against Measure B. But what stands out the most about Christian Mann is the hearts and souls of the people he touched. If you were fortunate enough to spend time with Christian you know how he lit up the room when he walked in; how his constant, sharp and often off-colored wit always brought a smile and usually a belly laugh; how his brilliant mind was never satisfied and always curious; and how this southern California pornographer had a heart of gold and a capacity to love few could comprehend.

We at FSC will always be grateful for the time we had with Christian and send our condolences and love to his incredible wife Melissa and his family. Goodbye Christian, while you are no longer physically with us, you will remain forever in our hearts.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/christian-mann-1961-2014/

Jan 06

AMTC Testing Service Rejoins FSC-PASS System

FSC-PASS is proud to announce that as of today AMTC Testing Services will rejoin the FSC-PASS system, offering STD testing facilities nationwide for adult performers.

AMTC had been on hiatus due to the unexpected death of the company owner. Now under new ownership, the testing facility is back to provide performers with reliable testing, quick turnaround times and confidential service.

“Dealing with AMTC has always been great, so we’re glad to have them back onboard. More importantly, we’re happy to offer the performers more choice for their testing,” said FSC CEO Diane Duke. “AMTC was one of the labs that really helped us develop our system in the beginning and we hope they’ll be around for a long time to come.”

Contact information for AMTC is as follows:

AMTC

Draw stations nationwide
Turnaround time 1-4 days in most situations
SAMEDAYTEST.COM

1-888-511-0262

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am-5:00 pm CST

For more information on FSC-PASS and its testing facilities, please visit the website or contact (818) 348-9373.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/amtc-testing-service-rejoins-fsc-pass-system/

Dec 20

Viral Genealogy Conclusive: Positive Performer from December Moratorium Contracted Virus in Personal Life

The performer who tested positive for HIV during an industry-mandate screening appears to have contracted the virus in his or her personal life, doctors have concluded, after no other adult performers tested positive for HIV.

The performer, who wishes to remain anonymous, received a confirmed positive for the virus on December 6, 2013 at an industry-certified facility. Doctors alerted the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry trade group, which called for an immediate moratorium on all production while the genealogy of the virus could be traced. Adult performers must be tested for a full slate of STIs every two weeks in order to be cleared to work in the adult industry.

All people within the performer pool with whom the positive performer had had at-risk contact were immediately tested for HIV. All other adult performers were required to retest as an added precaution. No other tests were reactive for the virus, meaning the positive performer had contracted the virus from a source outside the performer pool.

Later, the performer told an industry blog that he believed he had contracted the virus from someone in his personal life.

There have been two other moratoriums for the adult industry this past year. In both cases, the viral genealogies showed that the virus was acquired offset and was prevented from being transmitted within the performer pool by the industry testing system (known as PASS).

“A moratorium is a preventative measure used to protect adult performers.  Like a ringing car alarm, a moratorium is a sign of a working system, not a broken one,” said Diane Duke FSC Chief Executive Officer. “Adult performers — like all of us — have personal lives. We cannot control, and should not want to control, people’s personal lives. What we can do is make sure that HIV is stopped at the industry gate by testing protocols.”

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/viral-genealogy-conclusive-positive-performer-from-december-moratorium-contracted-virus-in-personal-life/

Dec 10

Performer Testing Update #2

We spoke with the PASS testing facility doctors this morning, and want to issue an update on the current moratorium and testings.

Currently, all people who have had at-risk contact with the positive performer have been retested with the RNA Aptima test. At this point, we are awaiting one final test result from a performer who went to a personal physician whose testing system does not have as swift a turnaround time as industry clinics. If the results of that final are clear, we will establish a date to lift the moratorium. Until then, it remains in place.

A moratorium is only lifted after it is clear there is no threat of transmission.  Only after a genealogy of the virus is established, and all sexual partners have been tested, do the FSC and PASS receive clearance to allow performers to resume shooting.

If the final test comes back negative, FSC and PASS will set two dates: a date on which production can resume, and the date after which performers must show a negative test in order to be able to work. While we can not yet offer the former, we can announce the later: all performers must have a test dated December 5, 2013 or after in order to be cleared to work.

The HIV RNA Aptima test used by PASS has a 7-10 day window, meaning that it can identify HIV within 7-10 days of transmission. We wait at least 14 days after any possible exposure before lifting the moratorium for added accuracy, and to make sure that nothing was missed. The December 5 date is two weeks after the performer’s last at-risk contact with a member of the performer pool, on November 21.

The HIV RNA Aptima test is the most accurate test available. Because of its specificity and sensitivity a false positive (where a performer tests positive for HIV, but does not actually have it) will occur from time to time.  We have never encountered a false negative.

We only lift the moratorium if there is no medical reason for it to be extended. While most studios stockpile films and can weather a longer moratorium, individual performers often have to contend with a direct loss of income once shooting stops. We know this has been a difficult time for performers, both emotionally and financially. But we will lift the moratorium only when PASS doctors, using protocols outlined above, determine a safe date for production to resume.

We expect to have the results of that final test in the next few days. We will let you know as soon as we hear the results.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/performer-testing-update-2/

Dec 08

An FAQ about STIs, Testing and Moratoriums

500px-Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svgWe’ve noticed that there is a lot of confusion, both in the media and within the industry about how the decision to call a moratorium is made, how the dates are determined and what protocols are in place to protect adult performers.

HIV is a serious issue, and its important that we deal in facts, not fear or rumor, so we’ve prepared an FAQ to help people understand the process.

Are Adult Performers Tested for HIV?
Yes. Any performer who wants to work in the adult industry must test clear of STIs, including HIV, within fourteen days of their shoot date. Performers who work regularly generally test every two weeks at PASS-certified testing clinics.

What is the PASS system?
The PASS system is a descendant of AIM (Adult Industry Medical), a healthcare foundation created by a performer with the support of FSC to help protect against STIs. Under the PASS system, producers and directors check to confirm that the performer is cleared to perform in the PASS database within the past fourteen days. If a performer does not have a recent test, or shows any irregularity, he or she will not be cleared to perform.

What happens if a performer tests positive for HIV?
If an active performer tests positive for HIV, a moratorium is immediately called and the industry immediately halts all production.

How are moratoriums called?
The doctor at the PASS facility that conducted the test checks to see if that performer has worked on adult film since 2 weeks prior to his or her last negative test. If he or she has, the doctor alerts the Free Speech Coalition, and the Free Speech Coalition calls an industry-wide moratorium. Production is halted while everyone can be retested to make sure no performers are exposed to the virus.

What happens during a moratorium?
During a moratorium, film production stops while doctors work to determine if any one else was exposed, and to establish a genealogy of the virus.

All performers who have worked with or had sexual contact with the positive performer prior to performer’s last negative HIV test are tested and retested. In some cases, third generation partners may be tested as well. The goal is to immediately figure out if anyone else was exposed to the virus and to stop any potential on-set transmissions.

The HIV Positive performer is interviewed to determine the timeline and 1st generation partners.  If the performer had sexual contact with other performers off-set, the PASS doctors and FSC will work to make sure those people are informed and tested as well as any other individuals with which the performer had sexual contact.

How is the decision made to lift the moratorium?
A moratorium is only lifted after it is clear there is no threat of transmission.

Only after a genealogy of the virus is established, and all sexual partners have been tested, do the FSC and PASS discuss whether it is safe for performers to resume shooting.

If the FSC and PASS determine that it is safe to lift the moratorium, they set a date on which production can resume. All performers must then retest in order to be cleared for work. The retests must happen no less than 14 days after the date the positive performer received his/her positive results or the date of the positive performer’s last sexual encounter with a performer.

The HIV RNA Aptima test used by PASS has a 7-10 day window, meaning that it can identify HIV within 7-10 days of transmission. However, we wait at least 14 days after any possible exposure before lifting the moratorium for added accuracy, and to make sure that nothing was missed.

Why not wait longer?
In some cases, we do. If there are any irregularities, or if we suspect that there may be any extant threat to the performer pool, we hold the moratorium. We only lift the moratorium if there is no medical reason for it to be extended.  We try to balance performer safety with the performer’s desire to work. While most studios stockpile films and can weather a longer moratorium, individual performers often have to contend with a direct loss of income once shooting stops.

How accurate are the tests?
The HIV RNA Aptima test is the most accurate test available. Because of its specificity and sensitivity a false positive (where a performer tests positive for HIV, but does not actually have it) will occur from time to time.  We have never encountered a false negative and understand the incidents of false negatives to be exceedingly rare.

What else do you test for before HIV?
PASS has an extremely rigorous testing protocol designed to reduce the risk of STIs

Performers test every 14 days for:

•    HIV (by “PCR RNA Aptima”)
•    Syphilis (an “RPR” and Trep-Sure test)
•    Hepatitis B & C.
•    Chlamydia (by “ultra-sensitive DNA amplification”)
•    Gonorrhea (by “ultra-sensitive DNA amplification”)
•    Trichomonias

Why not just use condoms?
Unfortunately, condoms aren’t perfect. They break. In the shoots that can take several hours, they can cause abrasions known as “condom rash,” which, paradoxically, can make it easier to transmit an infection if one does break. For this and a host of other reasons, performers generally prefer to rely on the testing system over condoms. You can read more about that here.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.aphss.org/an-faq-about-stis-testing-and-moratoriums/

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