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Michael Weinstein and AHF wages another bizarre war on porn #HIV #AIDS

Michael Weinstein and AHF wages another bizarre war on porn #HIV #AIDS

Remember when the AIDS Health Foundation actually gave a crap about HIV/AIDS?  Yeah, it’s tough for me to remember those days too.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a HIV/AIDS service provider who sits on a $141 million dollar warchest, (up from $97 million last year) uses over a third of that total for their salaries, and spends countless other dollars on things that have nothing to do with providing service to those that need it.

These days Michael Weinstein, the man in charge of what he bills as the largest HIV/AIDS service provider in the US is all about trying to make a name for his crusades, most of which have failed miserably. Here’s just a sampling of his greatest hits:

  • Remember the fun we all had when he went after Pfizer’s advertisements that had that snazzy “Viva Viagra” catch tune? Weinstein had a conniption because, to him, the pharmaceutical company was billing Viagra as a party drug.
  • Science breaks a barrier and starts to move quickly forward on using Truvada as a preventative measure against further HIV infections.  The science looks good, trials don’t look bad and it’s one of the first BIG things that looks good in the war on HIV in a very long time.  His response? It’s another party drug that’s only going to encourage people to abandon their condoms (that they’re not wearing anyway) and get their groove on.  The FDA’s response to Weinstein? “We’re sorry, who are you again?” I’ll save you all the details of my rant on that piece and just retreat them here.  It’s also worth noting that AHF spent over two million dollars on this initiative, one that exactly nine people tweeted about, one person tapped it for Google Plus and a little over 200 liked it on Facebook (check their link above)

Weinstein’s gone after the porn industry more than once. In fact, it’s an big obsession with him.  In no particular order:

  • Because of patient information leaks at Adult Industry Medical, Weinstein saddled up against a facility who’s sole purpose was to ensure the health of adult entertainment performers.  Hot n the heels of this, a big ol’ liar named Derrick Burts claimed he contracted HIV on the set of one of his gay-for-pay movies. Here’s the rub to his saga: he’s gay for pay, only had sex off the set with his girlfriend (also an adult performer), and while they did use condoms on the set for sex (of which he’s a very proud bottom) they didn’t use their for oral sex. Eureka! That MUST be where he got it from.  Now, Weinstein has his poster boy for everything wrong with the adult movie industry.  Weinstein’s tactics got AIM closed, and as a result, performers now have to drive way the hell out of the way to another provider for their monthly testing assurances.  In talking to a performer I’m told that the drive is 2 hours in each direction.  Once a month.  It’s pretty much a requirement too for any mainstream working performer. No up-to-date card, you’re not working.
  • Burts also became the face behind Weinstein’s initiative that passed in California requiring condoms in porn. All porn.  Wanna make a dirty movie and sell it in California? Wrap it up boys, and if you shoot scenes without condoms you’re gonna get in big trouble.  Nobody is really sure who’s going to inspect the movies, the on set action, or enforce the infractions, but you’re just gonna get in trouble.

Oh yeah, did I mention that AHF makes a profit in selling porn? (some of the pics at the link are NSFW. Proceed at your own risk)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein, a fierce proponent of condom usage in porn and theleading force behind ongoingefforts to make condom use mandatory in California porn, owns and operates nearly two dozen “Out of the Closet” stores, including the recently opened Wilton Manors, Florida location. In addition to used clothes and furniture, this store is also home to an ‘AHF Pharmacy.’ Also available at Michael Weinstein’s thrift store? Used bareback porn.

When the store opened in 2008, Weinstein announced that “Ninety-six cents of every dollar raised through the Wilton Manors store and through ‘AHF Pharmacy’ will benefit AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS prevention and education programs in Broward County and statewide,” so selling bareback movies in that same store would be an oddly counterintuitive move on the part of an organization whose sole objective is to prevent the spread of HIV. And yet, here they are.

The bareback movies currently on sale at Michael Weinstein’s Out of the Closet in Wilton Manors includeBareback Joy Riders, Bareback Sailor Pimp, and Cum Inside Me.

This photo of bareback porn currently on sale at Out of the Closet (note: customers have to ask a clerk to view the films, which are typically kept behind a counter) was taken by Out of the Closet employee Ryan Dixon (a.k.a. Kameron Scott), a former adult performer living with HIV. Dixon took issue with AHF/Out of the Closet selling the films, so he brought them–as well as the subject of bareback porn and bareback performers–to the attention of Out of the Closet’s district manager, Matt Lamariana, who rebuffed Dixon, allegedly telling him, “Who cares?”

Hmmm, how ’bout that? Porn is bad for you. Bareback porn is really bad for you, but it’s not bad for anyone when Weinstein wants to turn a buck selling it.  Now it seems that Weinstein is going after the bareback porn industry and he’s painted a particular bullseye on Treasure Island Media, a porn production company that specializes in bareback porn. And not just scenes that feature two musclebound studs who leave the condoms in the locker while they do the deed in the gym shower.  I’m talking full out fluid swapping, no-holds-barred sex.  You won’t find anyone describing a single title at Treasure Island Media as “vanilla”. If anything, TIM movies are the anti-vanilla of all gay porn out there.

AHF is going to town filling a Cal/OSHA complaint against the company after having inspected 11 of their titles and come to the determination that the performers have been put in a grave health risk:

The complaints—AHF’s first targeting the bareback gay market—will be filed early next week with Cal/OSHA. AHF filed similar worker safety complaints with Cal/OSHA beginning in August 2009 against 16 California-based adult film companies, and in the years since, filed additional complaints specifically targeting Steve Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment as well as Larry Flynt’s Hustler Video. To date, Cal/OSHA has opened investigations into several of the companies, has cited and fined several, and is still evaluating and considering additional investigations of some of the remaining companies.

AHF will support its current worker safety complaints with the submission of 11 Treasure Island Media, Inc. adult DVDs filmed under various T.I. brands in which the performers do not wear condoms. Treasure Island officials to be named in the complaints include owner Charles Steven Key (AKA Paul Morris) and General Manager Michael Triolo (AKA Matt Mason). AHF’s Cal/OSHA complaints will assert that the films demonstrate unsafe—potentially life-threatening—behavior in a California workplace, as the sexual acts filmed without participating performers using condoms depict the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids.

“As a global HIV and STD medical provider operating treatment clinics and prevention facilities here in California, we see it as our duty to pursue action on the issue of safety in the workplace—in these instances, unprotected sex acts taking place in albeit non-traditional workplaces—porn sets located throughout the San Fernando Valley that are churning out billions of dollars of adult fare every day,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Treasure Island has been quite vocal and outspoken in its opposition to condom use in the company’s films. This is why we are filing workplace health and safety complaints with Cal/OSHA: to press for the enforcement of existing state and local workplace regulatory guidelines which would require the use of condoms in their—and all—adult films produced in California.”

Background Materials for AHF’s New Complaint to Cal/OSHA regarding Treasure Island Media:

In support of its latest complaint to Cal/OSHA asserting that film sets where condoms are not used provide unsafe California work environments, AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials undertook a review and analysis of 11 adult films produced and/or distributed by Treasure Island Media, Inc. AHF will submit the DVDs to Cal/OSHA in support of its workplace safety complaint regarding these California film sets when it files the complaints early next week. Among AHF’s findings, the films analyzed included scenes filmed without condoms that demonstrate the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids, ALL filmed without any condoms being used.

  • 11 adult entertainment (porn) DVDs purchased;
  • All DVDs included unprotected sex;
  • NO FILMS had performers using condoms

Film titles examined included:

  • Liam Cole’s Slammed (2012)
  • Park & Ride: A Max Sohl Sex Tape (2012)
  • Cheap Thrills Volume 3 (2011)
  • In the Flesh: A Liam Cole Video (2011)
  • What I Can’t See #3 (2011)
  • Breeding Season #2 (2010)
  • Raw Underground: Paris (2010)
  • Full Tilt: Liam Cole (2010)
  • and an additional 3 film titles
    Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/02/08/4605970/ahf-goes-after-bareback-gay-porn.html#storylink=cpy

I’ll get to the meat of this in a minute but I have to write a memo to Weinstein at the AHF really quick. I want to be the one that tells him that “Raw Underground: Paris” was actually shot IN Paris, so it’s got nothing to do with a Cal/OSHA complaint, the California condom law, or any other thing he’s twisted himself into thinking he has the “jurisdiction” to throw his .02 cents at.

It’s patently bizarre to me that AHF thinks that legislating condoms onto people’s cocks is going to lower HIV infections, especially those in the adult movie industry. Do you know how many infections there are recorded over the years? 23. that’s it.  Across an almost billion dollar industry and thousands of performers over the years the equivalent of a football team has been seroconverted.  In the two days it’s taken me to write and research this article, 320 people have been infected. Bareback porn isn’t the problem with the rise in HIV infections across the US.  The same goes for all those who’ll stomp their feet and say that bareback porn is going to be the death of gay civilization across the country.  It’s not.  Here’s some real logic to consider:

  • Most, if not all the guys in Treasure Island Media movies are already HIV positive, and are very vocal about their serostatus, and Any one of them wearing a condom isn’t going to change that. It’s a pretty well know fact that if you’re working in adult porn and become positive you’re also converted to being unemployed.  You don’t have to look any further than Mason Wyler for that, who left the business because once it was discovered he was HIV positive, he lost the ability to find work. Treasure Island aside, where is there one instance of a positive performer having an active film career? .  As to the other production companies like Sean Cody who has moved into bareback porn, models have to submit testing proof they’re HIV/STD free.
  • None of the actors are forced into a movie production. They all know what they’re about to do and they’re well aware it’s not a Snickers commercial.
  • People enter the adult movie business for a number of reasons, myself included.  Back in the day, I did it because it was easy money and I’m an exhibitionist/horndog. Some will use it as a career stepping stone into their own companies, and some will use it to stockpile some easy money, leave the business and move to the career of their choice.  A select few will also become obscenely rich. Some will do it because they genuinely enjoy it. The late Arpad Miklos was a chemist who chose to become a porn actor. My movie foray, in addition to a full time career in phone sex paid for four years of college.
  • Even if Cal/OSHA does levy a fine at Treasure Island Media or any other production company, they’re not going to go away.  If anything Treasure Island has demonstrated they can and will shoot overseas. How hard would it be for them to leave California and head to Vegas? Or New York?  They wouldn’t even break a sweat in doing so, and the downside of a move like that is the performers in those movies who work for the money are now out of work.  The AHF has gone after Treasure Island, Larry Flint and others and guess what? They’re still shooting movies.
  • Bareback movies show what guys are already doing: having sex without condoms.  The notion of every guy having sex should wear a condom is a great idea, but they’re just not doing it, and as an HIV/AIDS advocate I’ve long since given up the notion that I can convince people that’s the way to go. They’re also not getting tested regularly, they’re not wearing condoms, and worst of all, they’ll actually be naive enough to take the word of an anonymous stranger on Grindr who’ll tell them “Yeah, baby D/D free here. Now spread your legs…”  The utter lack of education in risk factors amongst gay men is where AHF should be pointing their attentions

Pornography has been around for more than 100 years, and some of the earliest non-heterosexual porn has been found as far back as 1907. It’s not going to go away, and it’s far from being the cause of HIV. Legislating it to death isn’t going to make it go away either. It doesn’t need to become extinct, it’s not the problem. A lack of education amongst gay men who’ll make ill-informed decisions is. They didn’t make those decisions from anything they “learned” in a porn movie. It’s because they’re not bothering to have frank, open, and honest discussions about their own sex lives – because they’re either ashamed to stand their ground and insist on condoms with their partners, or worse still they’re too afraid to talk about what they really want IN their sex lives because it might be considered kinky or taboo.  The actors in those movies are giving the chance for those too ashamed to talk about it to get what they want and to live it up vicariously.

If Treasure Island movies aren’t your thing, don’t buy them. It’s that simple.  But they won’t be responsible if you acquire HIV, and AHF leading the charge in saying that they could be is what I’ll never get.  Michael Weinstein needs to focus on things that actually WILL help those with HIV, not a dirty movie.

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Michael Weinstein and AHF wages another bizarre war on porn #HIV #AIDS, 9.3 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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