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Clinic For Porn Performers Shuts Doors For Good

Photo by Koga/LAist (more photos here)
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AIM Medical Associates, formerly Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, has officially shut down. The clinic, located in the Valley, had been a go-to spot for porn performers to get STI and HIV testing. Founded in 1998, they were known for speedy results and a database that could be accessed by others in the industry to verify a clean bill of health.

News of the closure was reported by well-known porn blogger Violet Blue yesterday, and has been picked up by industry sites XBiz and AVN. AVN reports that clinic owner Sharon Mitchell confirmed that the closure was due to "financial hardship."

There was a clear difference of opinion between healthcare professionals and porn performers about AIM. In a statement released today, Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation had this to say about AIM's closure:

"Testing adult film performers for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases is important, but has never been an effective substitute for safer sex and condom use. Performers were poorly served by AIM and are poorly served by an industry that places profits above worker safety."

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In a statement attributed to performer Sharon Shevon and reposted on Blue's blog, Shevon notes:

AIM has been getting hit hard this year with Cal-Osha and The Aids Healthcare Foundation trying to take-over[...]The Aids Healthcare Foundation and Cal/OSHA are not into the best interests of the performers, if they take-over they will make us all use condoms and weaken our testing procedures, we will be forced out of the country and/or underground.

Either way, there's no arguing that AIM has recently come under considerable fire. The clinic was being accused by several performers of privacy breaches, and in March, a website called Pornwikileaks published performers' personal medical information, real names and birthdates online. Many argued that at least some of the information could only have come from AIM.

Performers will likely use Talent Testing for now, another clinic that caters to the porn community.