In the adult entertainment world, Sharon Mitchell is known as the driving force behind creating industry standards for HIV testing among performers.

But for the last year, she believes she has become a target by a nonprofit AIDS organization and the county health department who, she says, want to see her Sherman Oaks health center shut down.

“I really can’t stress enough that this has been a conspiracy, and I don’t know if that’s the right word,” Mitchell said in an interview with the Daily News.

“We’ve functioned as a doctor’s office with no problems. We’ve had very few (HIV) positives in the adult film industry.”

Mitchell co-founded the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in 1998, a nonprofit that provides health care for performers and others in the primarily San Fernando Valley-based adult-entertainment industry. Because of her work, every adult film actor must have an HIV test every 30 days to perform.

Last week, the state Department of Public Health shut down AIM temporarily, saying it had been operating as a doctor’s office, but was “in fact, a medical clinic and therefore subject to more rigorous standards.”

A cease and desist letter issued by the state shows that AIM‘s application for license renewal was denied because it listed the name of the clinic rather than the name of the nonprofit, a fire safety inspection request was not provided, and it did not list a hospital where patients could transfer to if needed.

A state official said last week that inspectors were tipped off about the clinic in June.

The closure came a day after adult film actor Derrick Burts, 24, criticized AIM during a tearful press conference, saying clinic operators left him untreated for a month and a half after he tested positive for HIV.

The press conference was held by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit that has loudly advocated for mandatory condom use on adult film production sets.

In 2004, an HIV outbreak among a handful of actors prompted dozens of mostly San Fernando Valley-based production companies in the multibillion-dollar industry to shut down temporarily after actor Darren James tested positive for HIV. It also led to the quarantine of more than 50 people because of possible exposure.

Michael Weinstein, the executive director for AIDS Healthcare, has said regular monthly tests are not enough to keep porn actors safe. In addition, he has said that Mitchell has not reported HIV results in a timely manner.

Mitchell said she found Burts‘ accusations unfounded and possibly prodded by Weinstein.

“We have nothing to hide,” Mitchell said. “We are not in this for politics. We follow up with HIV reporting consistently and regularly.”

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AIM Healthcare ClinicLos Angeles County public health officials served a cease-and-desist order Thursday to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), shutting down the facility to any new testing or procedures.

The order came two days after state health officials denied the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation‘s application to operate as a community clinic based on what regulators called “business-related issues.”

Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), a Canoga Park-based porn trade association, said it was her understanding that despite the order, the clinic, known as AIM, will continue to maintain its database of test results used by porn producers to check whether performers have tested negative for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Duke said performers will be tested using “satellite blood-draw services.”

“Apparently the big difference is that the main AIM clinic cannot be utilized. Therefore, I do not believe that there will be any impairment of production activities,” Duke said.

On the clinic’s website late Thursday, staff called the closure a “temporary situation” and said they were “rapidly moving forward” on completing their license application. The clinic is scheduled to be opened Friday for normal business hours and will provide performers a list of alternate testing sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Anonymous Porn performer tests positive for HIVFiremen are asked if they are afraid of being trapped in a burning building. Police Officers are asked if they fear being shot and killed on duty. Porn stars may be working in a business of pleasure, but the level of risk is still just as real if not properly managed.

Tuesday October 12th, AIM (The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation) notified the adult industry that an anonymous adult performer had tested positive for HIV. AIM has since taken proper action via contacting and quarantining all adult performers who could have possibly contracted the virus through the unnamed star.

The last industry HIV scare occurred last year when a female performer was found to be infected, but fortunately no reports surfaced of any collateral spreading. Before that incident was the famous Darren James case of 2004 where others were not as fortunate. In respect of these past events, major players in the porn world have decided to play it safe until more information becomes available.

Leading the charge of responsible adult business strategy, Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures were the first two big boys to halt all production until further notice. Being a major company in the limelight for it’s high profile celebrity sex tape collection, Vivid’s choice seemed to be a no-brainer. Wicked Pictures, on the other hand, is a porn studio which requires mandatory use of condoms. Theirs was a decision of pure respect for the gravity of the situation.

“Even though Wicked is condoms-mandatory, we have postponed our upcoming productions to give AIM a chance to create a comprehensive quarantine list,” stated a Wicked Official. “Thanks to the continued efforts of AIM, the entire industry was all made aware of this possible threat on the same day.” – AVN

Since AIM broke the harrowing news, many other major adult video production companies have followed Vivid and Wicked in their responsible actions. Hustler Video, Digital Playground, Jennaration X Studios, Girlfriends Films and Kick Ass Pictures have all halted production until an accurate assessment of the situation is acquired. wishes all those involved great strength through this ordeal. Two gigantic thumbs up go out to AIM for it’s amazing response efforts within the Adult Industry, and to all of the studios who have taken precautions for their performers.