FSC Sponsors Membership Scavenger Hunt at ILS

September 11, 2014

zb4s04gAttendees at the upcoming International Lingerie Show can win a year’s free membership [valued up to $300] in Free Speech Coalition (FSC) when they participate in a promotional scavenger hunt that highlights FSC member businesses.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for buyers and other attendees to get familiar with FSC and our FSC member businesses at the show,” FSC Membership Director Joanne Cachapero said. “Attendees can come by the booth and get a card with a list of our FSC member exhibitors. If they go to the different booths listed and collect special stamps, once the card is complete, they bring it back to FSC and we give them a free year membership.”

FSC member businesses that are taking part in the scavenger hunt include ElDorado Trading Co., Paradise Marketing, Holiday Products, Honey’s Place, Vibratex, Pleasure Works, Evolved Novelties, Nalpac, BuildTheStore.com, and several others.

“We’re putting the ‘free’ in Free Speech Coalition,” Cachapero added. “So some folks will get to give FSC a try, as well as become acquainted with FSC businesses. This is all part of our campaign to introduce the Code of Ethics program, so make sure to look for vendors displaying the COE emblem at their booths.”

The FSC booth is No. 708, in the Pavilion area of the ILS show. Held twice yearly at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, the show is set to take place Sept 15-17.

For questions on the scavenger hunt or any other information, please contact joanne@freespeechcoalition.com or (818) 348-9373.

 


Moratorium Lifted After Test Proves to be False Positive

August 29, 2014

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.


Moratorium FAQs

August 28, 2014

How are moratoriums called? Walk me through the steps.

  • If a current active performer tests positive for HIV, the doctor from the testing facility in which the performer tested contacts Diane Duke, the Free Speech Coalition’s CEO.
  • The doctor determines if a moratorium is warranted and tells Diane to call the moratorium.
  • A moratorium is warranted if the performer worked with anyone from two weeks prior to his or her last negative HIV test to the date his or her positive result came back.
  • If a moratorium is warranted, FSC/PASS sends out a press release and emails all performers, producers directors and agents about the moratorium.

 

How is the decision made to lift the moratorium? What factors are in play?

  • All performers who have worked with and /or had sexual contact with the performer 14 days prior to the positive performer’s last negative HIV test to present are retested.
  • Performers must wait 14 days from the last sexual contact with the positive performer before retesting.
  • In cases where the performers have to wait more than 4 or 5 days to retest, 2nd generation partners of those performers are retested as well.
  • Once all performers who the positive performer worked with or had sexual contact with test negative, the moratorium is lifted with the provision that all performers must retest—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.

 

What about this 14 day testing window used in the moratorium?

  • The HIV RNA Aptima test used by PASS has a 7-10 day window. At 14 days, the accuracy goes from the 75% accuracy to the upper 90’s.

 

How accurate are the tests? Isn’t it possible that someone could be positive but the test wouldn’t pick it up?

  • The HIV RNA Aptima test is the most accurate test available. Because of its specificity and sensitivity a false positive will occur from time to time. We have never encountered a false negative and understand the incidents of false negatives to be exceedingly rare.

 

You say their hasn’t been an on-screen transmission of the virus, but I’ve read about several in the past few years. 

AHF reports numbers to the media that includes people who want to perform in the industry but have been stopped at the door because they have tested positive for HIV. It is unfortunate for these individuals, but the good news is that they get the information much earlier which helps in the provision of treatment and keeps them from transmitting HIV to others.

 

How do you prove definitively that there wasn’t on-screen transmission?

  • All performers who have worked with the performer who tested positive two weeks prior to the positive performer’s last NEGATIVE HIV test are tested. This time period covers the window period when the performer would have contracted HIV. If they all test negative, then the positive performer could not have contracted HIV from any of those performers thus proving that he or she did not contract HIV on set.
  • All performers who worked with the performer who tested positive are retested two weeks after their last exposure to the positive performer. All of those individuals have tested negative proving that no transmission of HIV happened on set.

 

What about oral sex? Shouldn’t that count?

  • While it is extremely rare to contract HIV through oral sex, the beauty of the testing protocols means your partner tested negative for HIV no matter what type of sex you have.

 

Isn’t even one transmission one transmission too many?

  • Yes and while 5.15 people in LA County alone contract HIV There hasn’t been an on set transmission of HIV in the industry—nationwide—in 9 years. One is too much which is why our testing protocols are in place…they work!

 

What about Hep C. I heard the industry doesn’t test for Hep C.

  • PASS does test for Hep C

 

What about other STIs? Shouldn’t these workers not be exposed to anything? 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.

 

Urine test for:

  • Gonorrhea (by “ultra-sensitive DNA amplification”)**
  • Chlamydia (by “ultra-sensitive DNA amplification”)**
  • Trichomonias

 

If performers really don’t want to use condoms, why don’t producers give them the choice?

PASS supports condom optional sets. However producers can mand ate condoms at their discretion.

 


Production Moratorium Called After Positive HIV Test

August 28, 2014

Red triangular other dangers warning sign on white(August 28, 2014) – Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the adult industry trade association, called for a production moratorium today after one of the testing facilities in its PASS testing system reported a possible positive HIV test for an adult performer.

“There was a positive test at one of our testing centers. Confirmatory tests are not yet back but we are taking every precaution to protect performers and to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool,” said FSC CEO Diane Duke.

 
“We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed.”
The next steps will be to perform additional tests, determine a timeline, and identify any first generation partners.

 
“We want to make sure all performers are protected. The performers’ health and safety is the most important thing,” Duke added.

 
As of this notice, FSC calls for all production to halt immediately, until further notice.

 
For more information on the moratorium, updates will be posted to the FSC-PASS website and the FSC blog.


Controversial Condom Mandate Dies in Senate

August 14, 2014

Picture 1Performer and Producer Groups Celebrate Successful Battle Against AB1576

AB1576, the controversial condom mandate that was opposed by both performers, producers and civil rights groups, died today in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill was the third attempt bill by Assemblymember Isadore Hall to mandate condoms in adult film, and the third to fail.

Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition, said the industry was pleased with the decision.

“We’re grateful to the members of the Senate who saw this bill for what it was — a bald-faced attempt to exploit performers for political gain. But the assault had an unintended consequences — it unified performers and producers in ways that we haven’t seen in decades. Out of this grows a stronger industry, one not unintimidated by harassment campaigns like AB1576 and Measure B. But the battle is never over. We must continue to work to make sure our workplaces are safe, that our performers have a strong voice in their sexual health, and that we keep a thriving industry in California.”

Opponents of the bill warned legislators that the bill, which was written without input from either performers or producers, would have the opposite of its intended effect, and make sets less safer by pushing them underground. The bill also garnered large amount of opposition outside the industry, including from AIDS and HIV outreach organizations, sex worker rights organizations, LGBT groups, and mainstream publications like the Orange County Register, the LA Daily News and the LA Times.


Appropriations Committee Puts AB1576 On Suspense

August 4, 2014

hashtag2AB1576, the controversial condoms in porn bill, was placed in the suspense file today by the Senate Appropriation Committee. Bills are put on suspense file when their cost to the state exceeds a certain budgetary limit. The bill will be discussed further by the Appropriations committee after the state budget is completed, and will be announced with a simple up or down vote later next week.

The implementation of AB1576 was estimated to cost the state between $125K to $150K. The calculated amount does not incorporate any costs related to lost tax revenue or jobs, nor any lawsuits related to the bill. Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition had the following statement:

“Assemblymember Hall said today that he’s speaking for people without a voice, yet the bill has been overwhelming opposed by performers and performer’s groups. That he could say that with a straight face after dozens of performers spoke out against him is incredible. It’s not that they don’t have a voice, it’s that he’s not listening.

“The more legislators hear about the bill, the more they don’t like it. This bill will have major financial cost for the California, while doing nothing to improve the safety of performers. And it’s not just performers and producers who are opposed to the bill, it’s HIV and AIDS outreach organizations, sex worker rights organizations, LGBTQ organizations, and business organizations. This morning, we had a great anti-AB1576 editorial written by LA Times editor Jim Newton, joining the Orange County Register and the LA Daily News in their opposition to the bill. It’s a broad coalition. Just about the only people fighting for it are AHF and Hall.”

Opposition to the bill includes the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Project Inform, the Center for HIV Law and Policy, the Positive Women’s Network, the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the St. James Infirmary, the Erotic Service Providers Union, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA).

“There has not been a single transmission of HIV on an adult film set in over ten years, thanks to vigorous adult industry safety protocols,” says Duke. “Yet the bill has used fear and misinformation to take away performer’s control over their bodies and pushes the industry out of state.”


Free Speech Coalition’s Duke Argues Against Censorship at UK Roundtable

March 7, 2014

uk-british-internet-porn-filter-censorshipFree Speech Coalition president Diane Duke argued forcefully against new UK censorship rules at a London roundtable sponsored by Virgin Media. The discussion, “Switched on Families: Does the Online World Make Good Things Happen?” was prompted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to censor content at the ISP level. The panel included government representatives, members of the press and supporters of an open Internet. A report on the meeting was printed in the Guardian on Wednesday.

“We applaud the Virgin Media roundtable for taking on a tough issue, and for the Guardian for acknowledging the extent to which these new government-imposed ISP filters can actually harm children,” says Duke. “The filters Prime Minister Cameron supports block sexual health sites, they block domestic violence sites, they block gay and lesbian sites, they block information about eating disorders and a lot of information to which it’s crucial young people have access. Rather than protect children from things like bullying and online predators, these filters leave children in the dark.”

According to a Guardian report, a majority of those participating came away from the panel opposing ISP-level filters. Under the conservative Prime Minister’s directive, internet providers in the UK automatically block any content it deems adult in nature. Internet users who wish to not have their content filter must make a special request to their internet provider.

“If government officials want to protect kids from predators and age-inappropriate material, there are proven and effective means to do it,” said Duke. “They involve parental control, monitoring and discussions. Unfortunately, none has the political appeal of a ‘magic filter’ that promises stop things like child abuse, teen pregnancy and sexual assault by merely censoring content.”

The panel included representatives from over a dozen groups including the UK Council on Child Safety, the Family Online Safety Institute, and Big Brother Watch. Also participating in the discussion was Member of Parliament Claire Perry, who has long advocated for filters at the ISP level, and whose own site was initially blocked by filters due to repeated use of phrases like “porn” and “sex.”

While Duke was optimistic about the discussion, she admits there was a lot of work yet to do.

“There is so much misinformation out there, and the stakes are high. It’s important for us to be at the table, and to refuse to let moral panics be used to limit speech.”


%d bloggers like this: