Desert AIDS Project
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Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter

In This Issue

Positive Life Series

Positive Life Series

Oct. 7: Drs. Dave DiGiusto and John Zaia from City of Hope will discuss cell transplantation approaches to HIV cure research ongoing here in Southern California.
Nov. 4: Dr. Daniel Lee from UCSD will speak on diabetes and other metabolic problems in HIV.
Dec.2: Town hall meeting on Let's Kick ASS!  AIDS Survivor Syndrome and how long-term HIV survivors cope--with Tez Anderson from LKA SF.
Jan. 6: Dottie Wiley, RN from UCLA will speak on HPV screening and anal cancer prevention, as well as two trials taking place here in Palm Springs.
Feb. 3 Updates on new HIV treatments.
Mar. 3: Local attorney Andrew Alder will speak on HIV and the Law, highlighting recent changes that affect our rights and access to healthcare.
Apr. 7: Update from the Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

Desert AIDS Walk
Saturday, October 18, 8:00 AM


Join hundreds of Coachella Valley residents who walk each year to raise money for medical care, dental care, housing, counseling and a host of 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. Click here to register.

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Joan Rivers was strong D.A.P. supporter

Pioneering comedienne Joan Rivers, who died today at age 81, created a sensation wherever she performed and the Desert AIDS Project was no exception. She memorably hosted the Annual Steve Chase Awards in 2012, combining her hilarious comedy with heartfelt fundraising for client services at D.A.P. Click here for more memories of Joan's visits to the Coachella Valley.

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The Coffee House Showcase
Every third Wednesday, 2:00 - 3:30PM

New Community Center Presentation:

The Coffee House Showcase!
We are now booking D.A.P. clients who would like to perform their own special talents and interests! We're looking for artists, soloists, musicians, comics, poets/reciters and we're open to more. If you have a special passion or talent you'd like to share, contact Ray!

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FDA approves one-a-day Triumeq

Triumeq, ViiV Healthcare’s single-tablet, triple-combination antiretroviral recently got U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as a first-line therapy to treat HIV. The drug is comprised of integrase inhibitor Tivicay (dolutegravir) plus Epzicom (abacavir and lamivudine). It is the first single-tablet regimen to receive approval that does not contain Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine). Consequently, Triumeq provides a major new option for those with impaired kidney function. Click here for more.

D.A.P. searches for answers on aging with HIV

The School of Medicine at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Desert AIDS Project are participating in a study, made available through a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to find some answers to all sorts of unprecedented questions that are arising as people with HIV grow old instead of dying. This study is extensive and will cover many areas of long-term physical and cognitive health and decline. Click here for more and see following article.

UCSD NeuroAIDS study

David Moore, PhD from UCSD reminds us that they are still looking for older HIV-positive persons for their California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network (CNTN) study on aging and HIV. They hope to enroll 24 older individuals from Palm Springs, and currently have 17. Ideally, they are looking for:

- HIV-positive individuals who are at least 65 years old
- Willing to consent to autopsy

There is a neuromedical examination, some questionnaires, memory and concentration testing and laboratory work. Eligible individuals are compensated for their time and receive transportation assistance.  The study takes place in Hillcrest in San Diego and is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. If Interested, call 877-543-8090 or 619-543-5098, and email questions to Susanna Concha-Garcia at .  You may also email Dr. David Moore at .

Senior seroconversion

As data continues to pile up on rising HIV infection rates among minorities and younger people, we're now hearing more anecdotes from people who seroconverted in their middle or later years. A cautionary tale especially for communities like ours with high senior populations. Click here to read more.

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Educating older people about your HIV status

If your grandmother asked for your Twitter handle or your uncle wanted to be  your Facebook friend, how would you respond? If you post or tweet messages related to HIV or AIDS awareness, education or testing among older adults, would you be willing to share that information with your grandparents? Most of us have these uncomfortable conversations. Clickhere for some advice about talking to older people, especially relatives, about living with HIV/AIDS.

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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