Desert AIDS Project
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Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter

In This Issue

Positive Life Series: Cure Research
Tuesday, October 7

Doctors Dave DiGiusto and John Zaia from City of Hope will talk about cell transplantation approaches to HIV cure research. The location is Sinatra Auditorium, Desert Regional Medical Center (Tachevah and Miraleste). A light supper is served at 6:00 PM; program begins at 6:30 PM. ASL provided. Sponsored by Jewish Family Service of the Desert. Email questions to but RSVP is NOT required.
Future presentations:
Nov. 4: Diabetes and other metabolic problems in HIV.
Dec. 2: Town Hall Meeting on AIDS Survivor Syndrome. 
Jan. 6: HPV screening and anal cancer prevention.
Feb. 3: Updates on new HIV treatments.
Mar. 3: HIV and the Law.
Apr. 7: Update from the Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

Counting down to Desert AIDS Walk
Saturday, October 18, 8:00 AM

Join hundreds of Coachella Valley residents who walk each year to raise money for services provided by Desert AIDS Project. The Health & Wellness Village at Ruth Hardy Park opens at 8:00 AM and the Walk steps off at 9:30 AM. Clickhere to register.

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Luncheon - HIV & Nutrition
Tuesday, October 7, Noon

Speaker Dr. Alex Ponce will discuss the importance of nutrition and HIV. Lunch starts at 11:45 AM. Registered DAP Clients Only. ASL interpretation upon request. Contact Ray at least 48 hours in advance. Sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc......RSVP to Ray.

Pizza & Movie: This week, The Hitcher (2007)
Every Thursday, 1:00 PM

A serial killer pins his crimes on two college students who give him a ride. If you like scary and disturbing, this one's for you!
Director: Dave Meyers Cast:Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough, Kyle Davis.

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COPD may be common and underdiagnosed in people living with HIV

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was found in 9% of people living with HIV in a large French cohort -- and most (77%) of the cases were previously undiagnosed, according to the results of a study presented at ICAAC 2014 in Washington, D.C., by Karine Risso, M.D., of Nice University Hospital in France.Read more here.

Two Australian men "cleared" of HIV after bone marrow transplants


Two HIV patients are showing no signs of HIV after receiving bone marrow transplants to treat cancer, according to a case presented by David Cooper, director of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, while speaking at a press briefing at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia. Read more here.

Risk of MRSA high among people living with HIV

HIV-positive patients are six to 18 times more likely to contract a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection than their HIV-negative counterparts. A meta-analysis of 32 studies between 1990 and 2013 examined data on 6558 HIV-positive individuals to determine how common being a carrier of MRSA was in this population. It found that globally 6.9% of HIV-positive people are MRSA carriers; in North America that figure is 8.8%. Read more here.

Aging with HIV: A new journey

It's amazing to realize that we're just a stone's throw from an era when being HIV positive at any age usually meant you should start getting your affairs in order. Just 15 years ago in the U.S., the idea of seeing age 50 was a distant dream for many people with HIV (maybe including yourself). Today, living out a full, long life with HIV is not only common; it's expected, provided you're able to access modern HIV treatment and quality health care. Read more here.

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Supreme Court may decide to take up marriage on Monday

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will have it's first opportunity to decide whether to take up a lawsuit seeking a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Read more here.

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LGBT Americans more likely to live in poverty

A report the Movement Advancement Project and other groups released on Tuesday concludes LGBT Americans are more likely to live in poverty because of discrimination and anti-LGBT attitudes. 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, 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

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

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 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'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,’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 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