Desert AIDS Project
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Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter


In This Issue

Desert AIDS Project closed on Friday
October 24

Desert AIDS Project and LabCorp offices will be closed on Friday, October 24 for a D.A.P. staff retreat. Walgreens will be open regular business hours but you will have to use the Sunrise Way entrance.

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Halloween Bingo near!
Friday, October 31, Noon - 2:00 PM

PRIZES FOR BEST COSTUMES
BINGO PRIZES

ITALIAN FOOD LUNCHEON

Pizza & Movie: Oct. 30, Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Thursdays, 1 PM

An American supernatural horror film directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, directors of Paranormal Activity 3, written by Christopher Landon and Chad Feehan.Starring Stephen Dunham, Katie Featherston, and Matt Shively.

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Coffee, even decaf may promote liver health

Drinking coffee, whether decaffeinated or regular, is linked to healthier levels on tests indicating liver function, the Huffington Post reports. Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, researchers drew data on nearly 28,000 adults who provided information on coffee consumption in a 24-hour period to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2010.Read more here.

Long-acting, investigational integrase inhibitor shows promise

Pharmacokinetic data for cabotegravir (CAB, GSK1265744), an integrase inhibitor in development, were presented by Susan L. Ford et al of GlaxoSmithKline at the recent 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2014) in Washington, D.C. The drug is currently in phase 2 trials. Two versions of cabotegravir are being studied: an oral version that would be taken once a day and a long-acting version to be injected every four to 12 weeks. The 12-week injectable version is under development for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in HIV-negative patients, while the oral version and injections every four or eight weeks are intended to keep HIV-positive patients virally suppressed. Read more here.

HIV reservoir discovered within lungs

One of the most active areas of HIV cure research focuses on the cell reservoirs where latent virus is believed to be hiding, out of the reach of existing antiretroviral therapy. Despite considerable research in this area over the past several years, there is still a great deal we don't know about how these reservoirs form -- or even where they are all located. Without deepening this knowledge, taking the next steps toward eradicating those reservoirs may not be possible. Read more here.

Enrollment for Hologic study ends next Wednesday, October 29

A reminder that the research/study developed by Hologic Gen Probe to get the new Aptima HIV Quantification Assay FDA approved is ongoing. This new assay can provide viral results within 24 to 48 hours. Any patients referred and enrolled by the deadline will be compensated $50. Anyone you can refer is greatly appreciated. We just received notice that enrollment for the Hologic study will end next Wednesday, October 29. For more information or to participate, contact Palmtree Clinical Research, Inc., 1080 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Suite 203 in Palm Springs.  Phone: 760.902.1615.

Diminished functions in older HIV-positive adults despite successful ARV therapy

 

More than 50% of HIV-infected adults in the U.S. will be over 50 years old in 2015. There is growing concern among patients and healthcare providers that this group is experiencing a premature or ‘accelerated aging’ process. Read more here.

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Arizona won't appeal marriage equality ruling

The state of Arizona won’t appeal a ruling against its ban on same-sex marriage, Attorney General Tom Horne announced on Friday. Read more here.

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Keep track of healthcare reform changes

If you are on Medicare, it's important to keep track of ongoing changes in coverage and payment options.  Most importantly, the "donut hole" of Medicare Part D drug plan co-pays begins to close this year (see below).  Regardless of your current insurance situation, click here for a government website that provides some guidance regarding Medicare, Medicaid and other possible insurance options (albeit limited) for those living with disabilities and/or chronic health issues (pay particular attention to the Medicare and Timeline tabs).  And click here for an even more detailed summary.  (sb) 

ADAP may pay Medicare Part D premium

ADAP-eligible clients who have to purchase Part D prescription drug coverage may qualify to have their Part D premium paid by the State of California. Follow this link to the Part D Premium Payment Program Application. You can also call the State of California at 916.449.5900 for more information.  (jl) 

Help with Medicare

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.  This includes information about original Medicare, Medicare Health Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Supplemental policies and Long-term Care Insurance.  The California Department of Aging (CDA) is responsible for statewide administration of SHIP, which is delivered through the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).  HICAP services can be accessed via a toll-free line at 800.434.0222.  The local HICAP counselor is located at the Mizell Center in Palm Springs and can be reached at 760.323.5689.  Follow this link for more information. 

Help paying for prescription medications

Among the resources available to HIV-positive people to help pay for prescription medications is NeedyMeds. The mission of NeedyMeds is to make information about assistance programs available to low-income patients and their advocates at no cost.  Go  to www.needymeds.org, look up the  medications you need and you'll be directed to the patient assistance program website for that manufacturer.  The site  also offers a free drug discount card that is accepted at more than 62,000 pharmacies.  If you are having trouble paying for your medications this site is worth a look!  (jl) (sb) 

Help paying for private health insurance premiums

If you or someone you are close to is HIV positive and paying for private health insurance, there may be help in paying premiums. The California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS (OA) administers the Health Insurance Premium Payment (OA-HIPP) Program.  OA has expanded OA-HIPP to make this program available to more individuals with health insurance who are at risk of losing it, and to individuals currently without health insurance who would like to purchase it.  You do NOT need to be a D.A.P. client to access OA-HIPP.  Follow this link to see if you qualify, and also check out the above links in the Healthcare reforms article. (jl) (sb)  

Quest Diagnostics website

Riverside County Healthcare (RCHC) Lab services are provided at both Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC) in Moreno Valley and Quest Diagnostics.  All former LabCorps patients are now served at Quest.  Click here or above for the Quest website: locations, hours and to make an appointment. 

Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) & AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

For those who qualify, medical care and help paying for your medications are available through the MISP and ADAP programs.* Find out if you qualify: schedule an appointment by calling the numbers below. You can schedule your MISP and ADAP appointments together for Moreno Valley office ONLY. Call no sooner than four weeks before your ADAP qualifying expiration date (usually around your birthday). If you qualify for ADAP only, the local ADAP office is right across the driveway, south of D.A.P., at the Palm Springs Family Care Center. Specify the Palm Springs office when you call. Here are the numbers:

877.501.5085 - toll free
951.486.5375 - English
951.486.5400 - Spanish
951.486.4635 - fax

*NOTICE: Faxed MISP applications can get lost in the process. Many people who have faxed their application have had to re-apply later. It's best to apply in person in Moreno Valley, and get a "receipt of application", and use that as proof that you applied to avoid uninterrupted services with your D.A.P. medical doctor visits.

D.A.P. contact information

The Desert AIDS Project local phone number is 760.323.2118. The toll-free phone number is 866.331.3344 and the website is desertaidsproject.org.

DAPCAN back issues always available online

Need another look at something you read in DAPCAN? Find past issues online by clicking this link. As always, you can also read the most current edition of DAPCAN on the D.A.P. website at www.desertaidsproject.org/newsletter

D.A.P. holiday closings for 2014

January 20 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 17 — Presidents' Day
March 31 — Cesar Chavez Day
May 26 — Memorial Day
July 4 — Independence Day
September 1 — Labor Day
October 13 — Columbus Day
November 27-28 — Thanksgiving
December 25-26 — Christmas

Call 211 for essential human services in Riverside County

2-1-1 is a toll-free service for residents looking for information about essential human services such as affordable housing, food pantries, help for an aging parent, free or low cost health services, addiction prevention programs, employment, support groups, volunteer opportunities, and 1,700 additional services! (jl)

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Your annual ADAP/MISP appointment

For those who meet income eligibility requirements, medical care and help paying for medications may be available through state MISP and ADAP programs. To qualify: call the numbers below and schedule an appointment. (You can schedule your MISP and ADAP appointments together for Moreno Valley office ONLY.) Call no sooner than four weeks before your ADAP qualifying expiration date (usually around your birthday). If you qualify for ADAP only, the local ADAP office across the driveway, south of D.A.P., at the Palm Springs Family Care Center. Specify the Palm Springs office when you call and make sure you have all documents required! Delays can cause lapses in drug coverage.

877.501.5085 - toll free 951.486.5375 - English
951.486.5400 - Spanish/espanol 951.486.4635 - fax

Unfortunately, it's sometimes difficult to get through to make appointments by phone. We were recently notified that there is now an individual at Window 2 next door at the Palm Springs Family Care Center that can schedule appointments and process demographics changes. If it is more convenient, you can walk next door to schedule your MISP/ADAP appointment in person. (jl)

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Let Disability.gov guide you to information you need

Are you looking for information about how much work you need to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, or how to apply for benefits? Are you searching for an affordable place to live, or want to find ways to make your home accessible? Do you need help finding a job, or want to learn how working might affect your Social Security disability payments? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then check out these guides on Disability.gov:

Disability.gov's guides answer many of the most frequently asked questions about eligibility for disability benefits, locating job training services, as well as housing assistance programs for individuals with disabilities. In addition, Disability.gov’s Guide to Getting Help in Your Community has information about programs and organizations near you that provide other services and supports, including health care, temporary financial assistance for families, and help paying home heating bills. (jl)

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Get Social Security forms online

A reminder that starting in February, form requests for proofs of income and Social Security numbers will not be available at local Social Security offices as in the past. Now you must go online for those documents at socialsecurity.gov or call 800.772.1213. Remember that the forms can be printed out immediately but phone requests will take approximately seven days to receive by mail. You need these forms not only for Social Security, but also to apply at D.A.P., for ADAP and MediCAL, most updates and other insurance and eligibility requirements. If you have no computer, you may use the computer lab at D.A.P. and print your forms there. (sb)

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New Fact Sheets available to help with ACA questions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a series of easy-to-understand consumer fact sheets for those who are enrolling or have newly enrolled in healthcare plans through the ACA marketplace. A list of topics, with links to the fact sheets, is available here. (ej)

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Contact your elected officials

DAPCAN encourages readers to contact elected officials on important issues. Make your voice heard by contacting our state and federal officials!

Find current list of officials here