PVV – FSC’s meeting about performer testing, condoms, and other things

So yesterday (7/10/12), the Free Speech Coalition held a meeting deep in the heart of (the) San Fernando (Valley).

I went. I sat in the back, which is always the best vantage point, and took copious notes. There were about 50 people in attendance, and XBiz was streaming the whole thing live to XBiz.net (which is kind of like an industry-only Facebook). So, even if you couldn’t technically be there, you could still be there.

At various times, the meeting was interesting, stressful, brilliant, annoying, frightening, frustrating, and/or empowering. Its intended purpose was to explain and demonstrate the ins-and-outs of the Adult Production Health and Safety Service (APHSS) system. In a nutshell…

Regarding STI testing: performers may elect to test with an APHSS-partnered* and/or other associated testing facility. On the basis of their test results, a performer is either cleared for work or not. Their status as cleared or otherwise is then fed into the APHSS database. No information beyond the performer’s legal name and not/available for work is held the database. No private and/or medical information is available and/or shared. A need-to-know person (ie a producer, agent, co-performer, etc) with APHSS access may then use the database to confirm ONLY if so-and-so is cleared to work or not. The interface has 14-day and 28-day periods delineated, with a very obvious “cleared through XXX” date displayed.

*I am using the term “partnered” here to refer to the fact that “partnered” testing facilities meet all APHSS’s state, legal, privacy, and healthcare provision requirements only, not that they are linked and/or affiliated in some way. APHSS “partnered” testing facilitates are listed here.

“Associated” refers to a  testing facility that is a data source (not/cleared status results) only. 

Some points:

1. Performers’ legal names are the only identifying component included in the database. Work pseudonyms and/or other professional “public” names are not included.

It was said that the real strength of this system is its lack of information – hackers and evil people might be able to access this system (just as they might be able to access any well-protected but still web-based system), but there is virtually nothing there for them to get. So what if you know a real name and “cleared”? All you know is that someone… not some specific porn person because there’re no porn names on there… is available to be booked…. which I guess is useful if you want to shoot adult content. Oh wait…

2. In order to be an APHSS-partnered* facility, a testing provider must have an MD doctor on staff (among several other things). This is for various reasons including but not limited to: ease of prescribing care, patient communication, and California state regulations. In order to provide performers with as many testing options as desired, APHSS receives results from at least one associated but not partnered* testing facility.

3. This system is designed as a fail safe to paper test results provision. There are any number of ways that an individual may choose to share their medical information in an adult performance situation – they can physically show their test to someone, they could make a PDF of it and flash it around on their phones, they could sign a waiver that gives their agent permission to put their test information on a billboard off the 405… none of this has anything to do with APHSS. APHSS is a place to go to double-check on a window of time wherein a performer has been confirmed by a known and reputable testing facility to be cleared for work or not.

4. If a performer’s test is over 28 days old, they will come up as “not cleared.” This is per the current industry-initiated mandate of testing at least every 28 days. For the sake of convenience and clarity, APHSS also marks the 14-day date as some producers have initiated an even shorter testing window.

The LA County condom initiative was also then discussed. The end.

If you want even more detail, there are great summaries of the meeting on AVN here and XBiz here… but I know what you really want to know is what I thought!! So here you go…

– First and foremost, I feel that XBiz needs to be thanked profusely for providing the live stream. I hope everyone out there who couldn’t be there in person watched this feed, as it was extremely informative, enlightening, and significant - thank you, XBiz!!

– In-fighting is so pointless. It is the opposite of productive, as well as short-sighted and somewhat childish (sorry… not really). There are far larger and more significant issues to worry about. Disagreement, shared ideas, feedback, and debate are useful and necessary; but fighting with the person next to you – a person who, as a member of your same occupational community, is ultimately on your side… or should be!! – is just plain dumb.

– I was absolutely mortified by the lack of performers at this meeting. Alia Janine, Kimberly Kane, Sarah Shevon, Nina Hartley, Brad Armstrong, Brian Street Team, Dave Cummings, Whoever Else Watched On-Line (email me your name!!), and You if I Missed You (please email me!!) should be commended for taking the time out to pay attention to what’s happening in their business.

Performers – I realize that y’all have to work and whatnot, but ultimately what was being discussed at this meeting was YOUR BODIES.

In addition, Lydia Lee should be commended for continuing to be mindful of the issues performers deal with and working to make sure an informed and insightful perspective is front and center. Lydia provides an excellent and extremely thorough summary of the entire meeting here. Shy Love’s contributions, though often controversial, also need to be acknowledged.

– Girlfriends Films’ Dan O’Connell said it perfectly when he talked about education – organized, comprehensive, accessible, relevant, and relatable education is key.

– As I said, the stated function of this meeting was to go over the APHSS system; however, I think a latent function was to garner and/or stimulate industry unity on some level. It is absolutely necessary for every member of the adult industry to get involved in some way – in any way – now. Not later. Now.

You need to look here —-> APHSS.org

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