All right…back at last from the Christmas rush, and ready to continue with this bad boy. For reference, just read Parts One and Two.
We now come to the segment where Cameron begins his assault on the person of Sharon Mitchell, former adult performer and main founder/spokesperson for the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM-MED or simply AIM), who is the principal agent for testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) within the LA-based porn industry.
In case you have forgotten, a rump coalition consisting of public health care officials aligned with the Los Angeles County Health Services Department (LACHS), the activist organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF, led by Michael Weinstein), and antiporn activists like former performer-turned-fundamentalist Christian activist Shelley Lubben, sincerely want to drive AIM and Sharon Mitchell out of LA on a high-speed rail, with the mission of replacing the existing system of standarized HIV testing and voluntary/performer chosen condom usage with a regimen of mandatory condom usage on all porn sets and stiff regulations requiring the use of barrier methods (condoms, dental dams, and even goggles and gloves and other personal protection equipment) more apropos to heavy industrial workplaces where far greater exposure to bodily fluids exists. Maligning Mitchell is central to this because she has been the lead spokesperson and the woman most identified with AIM and their testing system.
The actual system was born out of a major HIV porn outbreak that took place in 1994, when Marc Wallace was found to have infected up to 7 people after faking a false negative test. Back then, the actual test used was the ELISA test, which remains the standard for testing for STI’s used by most health care officials. ELISA tests for the antibodies within the blood stream that contain the HIV infection. It’s 100% accurate for locating people with full blown AIDS, but, because the antibodies can be masked initially in people who are infected up to 2 weeks, it is woefully ineffective in tracking people who don’t show the actual symptoms of AIDS, but may still carry enough of the HIV virus to infect others. Mitchell went and introduced a qualitatively different test, the PCR-DNA test, that used a different mechanism (namely, the level of the HIV virus itself within the DNA structure of the bloodstream. That test proved to be far more accurate in tracking the HIV virus (as well as other viruses such as chlamydia and gonnorhea); so much so that the industry now accepts it as the “gold standard” for their system of testing and isolating away HIV infections.
Now, AIM is not the only testing service that is used; there are others in the market that may use variations of the same testing regime. AIM’s service has proven to be so effective, though, that the level of infections from HIV have greately decreased, to the point that there have been no other cases of infection on any porn production shoot.
This isn’t to say that the system is perfect, of course: there was a breach that occured in 2009; and, of course, there is the Derrick Burts/Cameron Reid scare this last October. In both cases, though, the infections originated outside of the industry’s domain (the female performer who became “Patient Zero” of last year was found to have been infected before performing a shoot, but inexplicitly allowed the 30-day test period to laspe before going on the shoot; and Burts, while making plenty of noise right now about how AIM disrespected him, did admit that he did get infected on a gay male shoot totally outside the jurisdiction of AIM.)
Nevertheless, the prospect of back-to-back infections has empowered those forces who have been attempting to force mandatory condom usage down the throats of performers in the name of “public safety” and “performer protection” and “role modeling” (the latter refers to the hope that forcing porn performers to use condoms would help encourage the public at large to engage them as “safer sex” propolaytics). It has also fueled the fire of politicians wanting to find any excuse to either regulate porn into submission or simply banish them out of LA altogether.
Given that context, one can plainly see why smearing Sharon Mitchell and AIM is Job 1 with AHF, Lubben, the LACHS, and their media supporters. Naturally, Cameron Rowe is solidly on board with this, and he pulls no punches indeed in joining the lynch mob.
He begins with a reset of the original 2004 HIV scare, and the scent of a “porn industry” cover-up.
Porn star Darren James sued AIM and some AIM officials in 2005 for invasion of privacy and his suicidal attempt after his name was released that he had HIV. The lawsuit was settled out of court with a confidentiality agreement. Usually, that means the plaintiff won. James did say he wished he was the only one that got infected. The LA Times reporter Rong Gong-Lin II covered the story. (Note: No link since I could not pull the article from the LA Times but I made a copy of it in 2009.)
Now, it’s so nice that the supposed “journalist” in Cameron can say that a settlement in a case is a clear sign that “the plaintiff won”…which means exactly….what?? That Darren James wasn’t in fact “Patient Zero”?? Probably not, since he has publically admitted to that effect that he was the one carrying the HIV virus to that infamous double-anal scene with Lara Roxx and Mark Anthony (but more on that anon). That AIM should not have listed him?? They are required BY LAW to release the names and medical records of any performer testing positive for HIV to the proper authorities. Also, you would think that the industry would probably want to protect their performer assets by not having them do shoots with infected people, which is why there also is a quarantine list issued of those performers testing positive for HIV for them to avoid hiring.
Now…the LA Times article Rowe cited is more than likely behind the Times paywall and inaccessable online…but if Cameron happens to have the article, why not post it through other means?? Even I have a scanner/printer at home, you know.
It should be noted that Darren James is now an HIV counselor and a backer of the condom mandate….but, surprisingly enough, he is NOT publically affiliated with AHF or the LACHS’s current campaign. You would think that having him on board would be a strategic asset for the condom mandate folk…so why is he not behind the microphone and people like Shelley Lubben and Derrick Burts are?? Maybe Black men aren’t useful for the proper pathos in a public campaign the way a White gay/bi man and a ex-slut-performer-cum-fundie minister is??
The porn industry, Gene Ross of AdultFYI, claimed Lara Roxx was actually infected with HIV not James. This could be industry spin since they are not the LA Times. Gene Ross admitted to calling her and demanding an interview and claimed she wanted money for one. Now, that is his side of the story. He posted the conversation. The impression of his wording of the non-interview was that of being harassing. She hung up on him. He claims some picture was taken of her anus the same day she worked with James. Another shoot after James, was supposed to happen but she had a rash she claimed she got from working with James and Marc Anthony and waxing. She didn’t do the scene because the male performer refused to work with her. If the rash was herpes, Ross has no proof the picture was the day she shot a scene with James just someone’s word. Ross doesn’t even offer proof the picture was Lara Roxx’s either. Unfortunately for AdultFYI, Darren James ultimately claimed responsibility. That and it looks like horrible spin by Ross that should lead one to believe the LA Times and Darren James’s version therein.
This is funny, because Gene Ross never claimed to represent anywhere near the mass opinion of “the porn industry” when he raised the question of whether Lana Roxx might have been the real “Patient Zero” or whether she might have gotten infected before then in Canada where she did another scene with James before the double anal scene mentioned. The main source that Rowe gives is an article that appeared at the AdultFYI website/forum where Ross cites some previous articles from AdultFYI to state his belief that Roxx might have been infected or may have gotten infected by James before that fateful shoot. The first of those articles cites a popular at that time online radio show airing on the website KSEXRadio.com on May of 2004, where host Wankus and actor Dick Tracey, who claims to have worked with both James and Roxx at the time, suggests that the latter might have been infected:
5/8/2004: Porn Valley- I’ve been suggesting to people all along that Lara Roxx, not Darren James, is Patient Zero in this whole HIV flap. And Wankus’ interview with Dick Tracey Friday night on KSEX, www.ksexradio.com gives me even more reason to believe that.
For one thing, Tracey lends credence to the Roxx ass picture that has appeared on Adultfyi.com- the one where Roxx’s anal tract appears to be housing a leper colony. Roxx is claiming she got that rash the day after she worked with Darren James which is utter nonsense. Roxx had that condition the day she worked with James, and here’s what Tracey had said to Wankus.
Noting that he hasn’t worked with any of the people who’s worked with the people on the quarantine list, Tracey said he got lucky in that instance. “But I’ve got a fucked up story,” said Tracey, referring to Roxx. Tracey said he could have worked with Roxx approximately the time she worked with James, that Roxx was a step-in for another girl who didn’t show up.
“She showed up on set and me being the picky bastard that I am, I’m, who the fuck is this? This wasn’t the girl I was supposed to work with.” Tracey’s woman Cailley Taylor who was also on The Wanker Show piped in by saying that Roxx was ugly and that’s why Tracey had his reservations. Tracey said another girl was also on the set talking to Roxx in the dressing room. Tracey was called over and the girl pulled Roxx’s pants down. “She [Roxx] had lesions.”
Tracey said he saw the picture on Adultfyi.com and confirmed that was Roxx. “When I saw that I said no fucking way am I working with that. I called Aria who was down the street. She saved my fucking life. I called her up and she came over and did the scene.”
Wankus wondered what was Roxx’s reaction to Tracey’s reaction. “She said that she got waxed and got this rash after she did a double anal scene with Darren. I’ve waxed my chest and stuff and I’ve never seen anything like that. It looked like the worst case of herpes I had ever seen.”
Wankus relayed the information that the Roxx picture was allegedly taken the same day she worked with James. However it was a photo shot during a “recreational” scene. Tracey said that Roxx supposedly showed up to “a certain interracial porn company” to do an interview to get work.
“They took her in the back and d.p.’d her off camera for fun and someone brought a camera in.”
Wankus said he had been told that Roxx had been turned down by other male performers, noting her condition but that James said he didn’t give a fuck because he was known to have herpes anyway. “This is what I heard.”
Tracey said he saw the Roxx picture before it got posted on Adultfyi.com and knew for a fact it was legitimate. “I know what I saw.”
Of course, I will remind you of the necessary caveat that this took place on an online radio talk show where hearsay sometimes tends to trump actual evidence. But, it does give pause to the official “story” that Lana Roxx was the innocent who got infected by the dasterdly Darren James, who himself is alleged to have gotten infected in Brazil through sex with a male-to-female transsexual. And also, you can question why the studio in charge of that shoot would take such callous risks as to hire without testing first someone who had known lesions on her anal area to do a double anal scene….whether they were HIV+ or not.
And also note the fact that Tracey clearly in the interview identifies the woman in the aformentioned photo as Lana Roxx, and Ross openly states that in his opinion, Roxx was the woman described in the photo. A far cry from “there is no proof”..’ya think, Cameron??
This isn’t to diminish in any way the tragedy befallen on either James or Roxx…but it does go to raise some extreme doubts about whether or not “the porn industry” is covering up just to protect their assets.
According to NPR, AIM (Adult Industry Medical) HealthCare Foundation is being sued again by a mom and daughter who performed in porn and are alleging AIM allowed the mother’s results to go viral and someone posted her real name. The case is a class action against AIM. Highly doubtful lawyers would take on a class action unless they thought they would win. They claim AIM allows Much like the Darren James lawsuit, it’ll probably be settled out of court
This, for those of you who might not know, is the Diane Grandmassen/Bess Gerren (nee Desi and Elli Foxx) lawsuit that was filed against AIM due to their personal records being released and then posted to a blog. Interestingly enough, the primary instigator behind the suit (and the attempt to make it a “class action” suit representing all performers) just so happened to be…..Mike Weinstein of AHF, who just so happened to lead he tearful press conference where the accusers attempted to thrash AIM for deliberately destroying their lives by revealing their private information.
One small problem, though..the main claim of the suit was that AIM, by allowing porn producers access to the medical records of performers, was violating privacy laws and was solely responsible for the breach of privacy. Considering that most private companies who do drug testing also retain the rights to medical records of their employees as part of their mandatory drug testing, that’s a pretty weak claim. Plus, it was revealed that the records were taken from the production company, not from AIM’s office, and posted to the blog/message board from there…yet it was AIM that became the target, not the production company or the blog owner (It was later revealed that the blog/forum revealing the information was owned by producer/agent Derrick Hay, and ran by an associate of Donny Long, a former porn performer who has a history of outing porn performers.) Gee, I wonder…was it because AHF wanted to use these two women as part of their witchhunt against AIM and pull an Numerburg?? Even Darrah Ford, who is no supporter of AIM and who supports strongly the condom mandate, wasn’t buying into this..as quoted at her Porn Star Babylon blog:
Producers need access to the medical records in order to make sure who they’re hiring doesn’t have STDs. How else will they know who has whatever STDs? They could all wait till the day of filming and waste everyone’s time. But performers have the right to go into that database and see if who they’re working with that day has STDs. I’m no fan of either AIM or Sharon Mitchell. But if I’m a performer, you better believe I’ll be finding out beforehand if my future co-stars have STDs. AIM only tests for three STDs: HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. That’s it!
What harm was done to Desi by having producers know her medical results? Don’t play victim without looking at what AIM did to the performers infected with HIV back in 2004. AIM released the names of Darren James, Lara Roxx, Miss Arroyo, and Jessica Dee to the media and that’s how many found out for the first time that their son and daughters were porn stars. So their families found out at the same time that their children are porn stars now infected with HIV.
I’m just trying to understand is there something that I’m missing here as to the harm caused to Desi and her daughter by having their medical results shown to producers. Or is this everyone involved just throwing whatever they can at the wall to see what sticks? Or did someone from the industry contact Desi and Elli in the outside world and make public to their family/friends/neighbors their past medical results?
Desi says her medical results are still available in AIM’s database. Well don’t they have to keep everything for legal reasons? They might also not delete anything because so many do come back into the industry. But I would think AIM can’t delete anything for legal reasons to not only protect themselves legally, but to also protect the performers from anything legal that might surface in the future.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation website doesn’t even mention that Desi and Elli are mother & daughter, doesn’t mention their porn names, performed in the same porn movies, and also worked together at the Bunny Ranch. Because would anyone take Desi Foxx serious in this lawsuit if they knew?
Also…it is just as highly possible that the information might have been pilered from the LA County Health Department, who also keeps performer records, .then released to the offending blog in a direct sting to implicate and entrap AIM. But…AHF is much too pure to engage in chicanery like that…right, Cameron??
It is here where Rowe starts to get personal in his high-tech assault on Mitchell. First, he typically slants to his and AHF’s favor the recent pulling of AIM’s clinic license.
AIM was created in 1988 by Sharon Mitchell and Dr. Steven York, an internist, according to AIM to test performers to make sure the porn industry was safe. Just this December, AIM was shut down by the LA County Health Department after its application for a “medical clinic” license was rejected. AIM had been operating under a “doctor’s office” license till California said they needed the other license. That alone should tell anyone AIM was either incompetently run or the LA County Health Department was incompetent. Mitchell still wears a white lab coat walking around like a doctor.
Now, hold on a sec, here…so the co-founder of AIM along with Sharon Mitchell was in fact a doctor (albeit an intern) with a real Ph. D. degree…yet Cameron has the gall to question Mitchell’s creds or AIM’s creds as a medical clinic or a testing facility?? (Remember, nowhere does Cameron ever question Dr. York’s credentials.) And of course, as the world now knows, the license was not denied, just suspended by the state Department of Health due to a technicality over the title of the organization…which AHF and LACHS duly exploited to exercise their coup.
But this is only the beginning of Cameron’s gnashing of fangs into Mitch’s neck. Onward to the “faked doctor degree from a ‘diploma mill’” meme:
Sharon Mitchell claims to be a sexologist. However, her Ph.D. in human sexuality comes from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. The Institute is still not accredited by a proper agency according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Last year, it had no accreditation whatsoever including a state run one that really doesn’t count anyway. California’s Bureau of Postsecondary and Vocational Education clearly states it is up to the student to see the Institute is a diploma mill, degree mill and/or meets their academic needs. It doesn’t. Unless it is accredited under CHEA, employers won’t consider it. California is lax about kicking out schools without national accreditation that counts.
According to the American College of Sexologists, Sharon Mitchell is listed as having HIV/SEX/Drug-Alcohol Addition specialties. California does not regulate sexologists and neither does any other state except Florida. How Ms. Mitchell has those specialties is beyond the scope of an apparent diploma mill/accreditation mill. Even in California, that could be illegal to claim medical credentials if that is what she’s claiming. A serologist in Florida has to have a real degree and pass a state exam to be called a doctor of sexology or you are committing a crime. Florida did that because of basically prostitution and “therapy” that was not regulated.
Sharon Mitchell is no doctor, no medical professional, and has an apparent diploma mill degree. The American College of Sexologists will accept anyone if you pay the fees and have such a degree. If you go to their website, those sexologist in Florida are MDs, MSWs and so forth. One sexologist in California I looked up had a website that looked mostly like a porn video store. If Ms. Mitchell used that degree to apply for a job with a private employer, they would laugh at the degree since it is not accredited.
Well, well…so much for this notice that is on the front freakin’ page of the IASHS website:
The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) is the longest standing graduate program in Human Sexuality with the largest resource library in the world. Considered the “Harvard” of human sexology study, The Institute is located in San Francisico, CA, and is approved by the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Institute graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including medicine and nursing, secondary and higher education, research, the media, social work, counseling and therapy, the clergy, the humanities and administrative positions. The Institute offers five graduate degree programs for persons wishing academic training in human sexuality.
.Now…unless Cameron is accusing the institution that accrediates ALL higher learning institutions in California of allowing “diploma mills” everywhere, this (especially the bolded part I emphasized) should be enough to shut his piehole. California actually does have some stringent standards — a hell of a lot stringent than other states — for accrediation of its colleges and universities; and I’m sure that if IASHS was indeed the “diploma mill” that Rowe suggests, they would not have lasted one year….let alone 10. And, let him attempt to say to people like Dr. Carol Queen or Annie Sprinkle or Dr. Charles Glickman that their doctorates from IASHS are worthless byproducts of a “diploma mill”. (I’d add the honorary Ph. D in Sexology degree bestowed this year to Nina Hartley, but time is short.)
And as for Florida being the only state to have more “stringent” standards for sexology due to fears of “prostitution” and illegal “therapy”….well, how much of that is attributed to a right-wing anti-sex attitude from the politically dominant Religious Right which seeks to destroy any means of sexuality education not promoting the old saws of abstinence and monogamous marriage??
Oh…and that sexologist with the site that looks like “a porn store”?? Would Cameron mean….this site?? I mean..if he’s going to malign Dr. Susan Block for her sexology degree, then why not call her out by name?? What’s wrong, Cameron…chicken got your tongue??
Besides that, even if Sharon Mitchell might be overdoing it a bit by advertising herself as a doctor, there is no one dumb enough to question her professionalism as a health care specialist…and no one other than the politically motivated or the just plain stupid will deny her stewardship of AIM in doing the job in protecting performers in the midst of a major pandemic of STI’s.
On the other hand, only the plain stupid and/or the lowdown dirty person would go to this card:
She admitted she was addicted to Heroin for sixteen years. Not sure how many porn movies she was in since various places have said 900+ and over 2,000. Mostly in New York City’s tame porn industry. She did win awards for her work from AVN so she is a porn star just not a doctor of any flavor. Even she contracted STDs during her porn career including herpes. In 1996, which is sad, she was attacked and raped by a stalker who almost killed her. After that she basically quit the business and appeared only sporadically in porn. Mitchell was lucky since Chasey Lain has not beat crack (the person said she looked like a “crack whore”) according to reports.
Oh, yes…”so sad” that she was beaten and raped, but not so sad that she “admitted” to beating a heroin addiction?? And she was just “lucky” to overcome such a plight?? I’d say that beating such a rap and going on to help other performers get out of such situations would be a badge of honor for Sharon Mitchell..but who am I to say?? And the sources for such information, according to Cameron?? Sharon Mitchell’s Wikipedia page (as if the IAFD database wasn’t available, or he couldn’t be arsed to actually ioterview her personally).
Oh, and it gets much better (or worse). The source he uses for the crack on Chaisey Lain being a “crack whore”?? This blog entry by a J. C. Skinner titled “Keep your daughter off the pole” which basically resets the ranks of dead porn starlets (or those allegedly destroyed by drugs). And..Cameron even manages to get that wrong; the actual phrase used is “crackpipe ho”. Figures.
OK….that’s enough digging into the shit for tonight. Wash down with a nice cold shower — preferably with double strength Chlorox — and we will continue this later.