Desert AIDS Project
(760) 323-2118

Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter


In This Issue

Positive Life Series returns Tuesday, September 2, 6:00 PM

The Positive Life Series will resume onSeptember 2. Steve Wakefield from the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Seattle will give anupdate on last month's International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.  He'll talk about advances in HIV treatment and prevention. Jeff Taylor will also provide an update on cure research from the Towards A Cure Symposium also in Melbourne. 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.

Upcoming programs:

October 7Cell transplantation approaches to HIV cure research in Southern California.
November 4HIV & The Law--highlighting recent changes that affect our rights and access to healthcare.
December 2AIDS Survivor Syndrome and how long-term HIV survivors cope.
January 4: HPV screening & anal cancer prevention and two trials taking place here in Palm Springs.

Labor Day holiday closures

Desert AIDS Project, Walgreens and LabCorp will be closed on Monday September 1, 2014 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Happy Labor Day!

DAPCAN returning to weekly schedule

Today's issue is the last DAPCAN on the summer every-other-week schedule. Starting September 4, DAPCAN will again be published on a weekly basis. Your editors hope you had an enjoyable summer!

Revivals is having a remodeling sale!

The Cathedral City Revivals store will be undergoing a complete remodel and will be closed from August 31 until late September. To prepare for the remodel ALL Revivals stores will be offering 50% off all donated merchandise on Saturday, August 23. Additionally, the Cathedral City Revivals store will also be offering 50% off all donated merchandise on Sunday August 24! Come on in and check out the bargains!

D.A.P.'s Ortega named 2014 Pride Community Grand Marshall!

Greater Palm Springs Pride recently announced the recipients of its 2014 Pride Honors Awards. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on October 10, at the Hyatt Palm Springs. D.A.P. is proud to announce that Alexis Ortega, our Integrated Communications Associate, has been named as a Community Grand Marshall recognizing her work as part of a new generation that’s dedicated to building a stronger and more vibrant community.  Congratulations, Alexis! 

Highlights from International AIDS Conference at D.A.P.

If you can't make it to the Positive Life Series presentation on Tuesday but would like to hear some of the Conference highlights from one of its attendees, join us in the Library at D.A.P. at noon on Wednesday, September 3. Enjoy a buffet lunch, along with a presentation by IAS Conference attendee Steve Wakefield from the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Seattle. Please RSVP to  or call 760-323-2118.

Back to Top

Project Inform teams up with ?Positively Aware? for Hepatitis C Drug Guide

Positively Aware magazine and Project Inform have teamed up to produce the 2014 HCV Drug Guide. Learn about new guideline and new treatments. Project Inform’s Andrew Reynolds takes a look at the standard of care for HCV in 2014. Here is where you can find the latest in treatment information for hepatitis C in mono-infected and co-infected people.

New edition of HIV & women booklet

NAM-aidsmap has recently published a new edition of the HIV & Women booklet in their HIV information series. It covers key topics which can help you think about what you want to discuss with your doctor, nurse or the people who support you. The booklet includes information on some of the day-to-day issues involved in living with HIV. It also has information about HIV treatment, sexual health, contraception and having a baby. Click here for more information.

Pros and cons of medical marijuana

Now legal in almost half of U.S. states, medical marijuana treats a range of conditions -- but long-term use may have side effects. If you are considering using medical marijuana, Web M.D. has put together an informative slideshow which provides some basic information concerning medical marijuana that you might find useful. Here is also a link to medicalmarijuana.procon.org with more detailed information. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions. 

Ebola virus: How contagious?

Two Americans stricken with the Ebola virus amid a record outbreak in West Africa  were being treated in Atlanta (one has now been released from treatment) which has triggered fears of a potential outbreak in the United States. Infectious disease experts say they don’t expect that to happen for several reasons. Ebola is hard to contract, they say, and good infection-control practices can stop its spread. Read more here.

Back to Top

Sign on to expand Social Security and protest office closures

Social Security is essential to protecting older and disabled Americans from poverty. But its benefits have not kept pace with the cost of living. Sign here to tell Congress to expand Social Security so that all older Americans can live in dignity. Also, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is rapidly implementing a critically flawed and poorly understood series of office closings and service reductions at exactly the same time as more and more Americans rely on the Social Security system. Sign here to tell Congress to pass Senate Bill 2742—a bill, which would require any future office closures to first go through a public review period to ensure that local communities can stand up for their field office

Back to Top

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)

Back to Top

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)

Back to Top

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)

Back to Top

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)

Back to Top

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)

Back to Top