YNOT EUROPE – Multimedia adult entertainment giant Manwin, which claims to operate the largest network of adult websites in the world, on Tuesday announced a new set of standards to which it will hold all performers and third-party content producers hired to create content for its sites.
In a prepared statement, the Luxembourg-based company indicated the new rules are intended to safeguard the health of those who work in the adult entertainment industry.
Manwin’s new standards are based on guidelines established by Adult Production Health & Safety Services, a Los Angeles-based organization established by industry trade association Free Speech Coalition to assist performers and studios in complying with voluntary best practices designed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. In consultation with a panel of medical professionals, APHSS created an STI testing and treatment protocol. The organization also maintains a secure database designed to help performers, studios and agents to make educated decisions about on-set working environments.
According to a draft of the new standards, beginning July 1 all performers and producers creating content commissioned by Manwin must adhere to APHSS protocols and use APHSS-approved testing and treatment facilities.
There is one notable difference between Manwin’s regulations and the protocol established by APHSS: Whereas APHSS recommends performers be tested with one of two FDA-approved HIV panels once every 30 days, Manwin will require performers to provide results of a specific test — the HIV-1 Aptima RNA Qualitative Assay — dated no more than 15 days prior to the start of filming.
According to the statement the company released on Tuesday, Manwin will pay for any additional test it requires when performers work for any of the company’s multiple brands more than once in a single 30-day period.
Evidently, Manwin will recommend performers use Cutting Edge Testing in Sherman Oaks, Calif., as Manwin also announced on Tuesday that it has purchased Gen Probe Aptima laboratory equipment for the clinic.
“At Cutting Edge Testing, we are now transitioning to the Aptima test for screening of HIV,” said Dr. Peter Miao, an infectious diseases specialist who operates the clinic. “This demonstrates Manwin’s concern for the health and safety of all the performers and the industry as a whole. By their generous gift, we now can move ahead and perform the Aptima test in the very near future.”
The vocal public support of a large content producer and distributor comes at a good time for APHSS, which in conjunction with FSC continues to oppose adult-industry-directed condom mandates recently enacted by several local governments in Southern California. In addition, in an open letter to the adult entertainment industry issued late Monday, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke indicated APHSS may have to suspend some of its operations or shut down altogether if funding and industry support for the organization don’t pick up.
“We are at a critical turning point for the APHSS program,” Duke noted in the letter. “APHSS has grown a great deal, but for the program to be fully functional, we need the whole industry to stand behind APHSS. The beauty of this system is, in the event a performer turns up positive, we will have a ready-made network in place. Through this network, we can test and care for any performers that may have been exposed and isolate that exposure, protecting performers and significantly shortening production shutdown time.
“We have spent a great deal of FSC time and money to create a working program for the industry and have not received additional funding from the industry or any other entity,” she continued. “Frankly, it will not make sense for FSC to expend any more of its resources if the industry is not 100-percent behind us.
“Without a comprehensive, coordinated program that is trusted by the industry, should a performer test positive, both performers and producers are highly vulnerable. Moreover, without a highly structured and successful performer health and safety plan, the industry has no viable alternative to government regulation.
“We have created an excellent program, and now the ball is in your court,” Duke concluded. “If producers, performers and directors are in support of FSC overseeing performer health and safety testing protocols and practices, then we need you to sign up [and pay APHSS membership fees]. The alternative to FSC oversight is for producers, performers and agents to take on the responsibility of performer testing and safety, including any incidents of positive HIV tests.”