by Georgina Spelvin
I met Dr. Thomas Horowitz when I was desktop publishing a magazine for the Los Angeles County Medical Association. Dr. Thom, as we called him, was a dedicated member, as had been his father before him. I was so impressed with his activism in the public health area, that I asked to be assigned to staff and report on his committee meetings for the magazine.
When next I needed any sort of medical care – an exam for an insurance policy, if memory serves – I chose him to be my primary care provider. Our friendship has grown through the twenty plus years he has overseen my health needs. His continued dedication to fighting the good fight for improved public health policy in Los Angeles County – and beyond – keeps his schedule packed, but never to the point of neglecting his first love, the compassionate practice of healing.
His wife and twin teen-age children are as dear to me as is he. When I asked if he could give us – my pal, Cindi and I – the inside skinny on what was going on with the current HIV media panic, he graciously consented to a brief Q&A while removing the stitches from a small incision made in my shoulder the week before when removing an “iffy” mole. I asked him what I might say on his behalf. Here follows, as best memory will serve, his comments.
Georgina Spelvin: Did Dr. Mitch (Sharon Mitchel, director of the AIM clinic) drop the ball?
Dr. Thom: Hardly. AIM is the best line of defense against infection and her database is the envy of the County, which hasn’t nearly the tracking capability that it has.
GS: So what went wrong?
Dr: One lady didn’t play by the rules. That is, she worked the day before her test result came in. Both she and the production company are paying the price and will serve as an example, I’m sure. But the whole thing is really a “tempest in a teapot.” It’s already old news.
GS: But weren’t there several cases reported?
Dr: There were other cases, but not performers. Because her clinic uses the best testing methods (better, and more expensive, than most physicians and public facilities – but made available at cost to patients) a lot of people use the clinic who aren’t in the business. They never turn anyone away, of course. Sharon is doing a great job. There are always going to be ambitious public officials who will use any issue that’s guaranteed to bring them a bit of ink as a bully pulpit. It’s all politics. You know the definition of politics?
GS: I want to hear yours.
Dr: Break it down: poly, meaning many; ticks, blood sucking parasites.
Gs: What about the use – or lack thereof – of condoms?
Dr: Well, of course, it’s the best line of defense. But like the films themselves, failure to comply is not going to go away. Pushing the issue underground is the worst thing to do.
GS: So it’s OK to quote you?
Dr: Sure. OK. This may hurt a little.
Dr. Thom expertly extracts the stitches across the small incision on my shoulder made two weeks ago to excise a mole gone bad.
TH: Come back to see me in three months. Sometimes these bad boys hang on around the edges. We’ll just have to keep an eye on it.
GS: Not unlike the sex industry, eh?
Dr: Out. Go home. Oh, how’s John doing?
GS: Just great. See you in September.
NL-It’s an honor to have an exclusive written by Georgina for LIB. She has her own blog where you can read more of her thoughts called GeorginasWorld.com. She also has a terrific book out on her life, in and out of porn called ” The Devil Made Me Do It”, you can purchase it through her site or on Amazon.com.