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The Affordable Care Act put chronically …

For people living with HIV/AIDS, and the clinicians and advocates caring for them, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was almost too good to be true when it was introduced in 2010. Suddenly, chronic disease management was available to the uninsured, the uninsurable and for the poor. This included the preventive and wellness services required for living into old age with HIV/AIDS.

Until this point, being HIV positive and uninsured caused incredible uncertainty for many who were just trying to stay alive. And for those struggling with addiction and/or mental illness alongside HIV, adherence to treatment was even more challenging and the danger of developing AIDS was more likely.

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is very blessed to have a volunteer workforce of about 600 and a paid staff of about 250. And our valley is probably the most generous community anywhere when it comes to charitable giving.HIVlivng But the ACA has done something for our clients living with HIV/AIDS that love alone could not. It has made them proactive participants in their own health care, regardless of employment status or pre-existing health conditions. Life-sustaining primary care has been made available to them while they are still well, so that they can partner with their clinicians to make sure the virus stays suppressed in their bodies, and that additional complications from living with HIV/AIDS can be managed.

Before the ACA, our uninsured clients living with HIV/AIDS would wait months for specialized and lifesaving treatments at county facilities after being referred by a D.A.P. clinician. We are so thankful for the life-sustaining treatments administered there, but the reality is that long waiting lists for the uninsured resulted in many of our clients dying.Even with medications available to treat their HIV, opportunistic infections and cancers threatened to take their lives, and often did so without timely medical intervention. Today, thanks to insurance provided through the ACA we do not have to worry about long waiting lists for our patients. That is cause for celebration.

In addition to helping our core client group live longer and more meaningful lives, the ACA has enabled us to open our doors wider to care for people in our community who might not have HIV, but who face other health care needs.

  • More than half of our 5,500 clients are HIV negative. They receive primary medical care, regular checkups and health screenings and they receive care for more serious health issues when they need it.
  • Our Behavioral Health Program is helping approximately 700 clients receive the support they need, utilizing psychiatry, psychology and group sessions, whether they live with HIV/AIDS or not.
  • We have become known for our program to cure Hepatitis C, a silent killer that is threatening the lives of about 5,000 people locally.
  • Our Transgender Care Program is led by award-winning staff dedicated to linking our transgender siblings in the Inland Empire to gender-affirming health care.

In Riverside County by 2017, approximately 400,000 adults caught in the coverage gap had been given access to medical care. In less than 10 years, the ACA has elevated the quality of health care and made it accessible for all residents.

If it were to be abolished, we would go back to a time of needless mortality and more people living in the shadows. That is a fate that this valley cannot face.

American Psychological Association Names …

American Psychological Association Names Dr. Daniel Parker As 2019 Psychology and AIDS Distinguished Leader Award Recipient

Palm Springs, CA – (March 8, 2019) Desert AIDS Project with great pride announces that its own Daniel Parker, Ph.D., has received the 2019 Psychology and AIDS Distinguished Leadership Award. The American Psychological Association (APA) Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS (COPA) bestowed the honor after reviewing nominations by his colleagues, and by leaders in the public interest community. This distinction is awarded to just one psychologist yearly, chosen among leaders in the field across the U.S.

According to APA COPA, Dr. Parker was chosen for this accolade after years of compassionate service to improve the lives of people living with HIV through clinical work, research, policy and advocacy efforts, and teaching and mentoring the next generation of HIV researchers and service providers.

At Desert AIDS Project, this has resulted in an elevated level of expertise offered to clients seeking therapeutic counseling in individual and group sessions. Dr. Parker’s career became focused on HIV / AIDS nearly thirty years ago, soon after D.A.P. was founded in 1984, and has included clinical practice, advocacy and training in Australia and the U.S.

“We deeply value the empathetic, evidence-based and collaborative approach Dr. Parker brings to the 700 clients living with and at-risk for HIV who rely on D.A.P. for behavioral healthcare,” said David Brinkman, D.A.P. CEO. “He is removing once seemingly impenetrable roadblocks from their journeys to health and wellness, despite HIV.”

Dr. Parker is known as D.A.P.’s longest-tenured psychologist and recently as Director of Behavioral Health during record-breaking growth; 26% growth in clinicians and 59% growth in visits. His partnership extends back two decades while employed elsewhere. For many years he was one of the few clinical psychologists in several counties who could deliver culturally competent care for people living with HIV in a stigma-free, compassionate setting.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the APA, and to be part of a national community of psychologists and mental health providers who have worked over many years to improve the health and lives of those living with HIV”, said Dr. Parker.

Today, Dr. Parker influences resource allocation, recruitment priorities and strategic planning by highlighting emerging needs in the HIV community. Over 80% of clients are living at or below the County’s threshold for Extremely Low or Very Low income and 63% are over the age of 50 years – most facing accelerated effects of getting older attributed to long term use of antiretroviral therapies and opportunistic health conditions.

According to colleague Dr. David Morris, Chief Medical Officer, Desert AIDS Project: “Personally, I have observed how patients under my personal care are benefitting from individual therapy, support groups and collaborative partnerships with peers led by Dr. Parker,” said Morris. “His influence is ensuring a rightful place for approaches to memory function and cognitive health, cognitive behavioral therapy for pain management, integrated diet management programs, strategies to combat social isolation and trauma-informed care.”

Policy and Advocacy Leadership

Dr. Parker’s guidance in three influential bodies—the APA’s Gerodiversity Committee, the LGBT Aging Issues Network Council of the American Society on Aging and the HIV & Aging Research Project—Palm Springs (a local consortium of researchers and clinicians)—is resulting in momentum and legitimacy for research grants and wider community participation. Past examples of his impact include obtaining funding to launch an innovative CBT for Late Life Depression program and chairing the Older Adult Working Group of the Reducing Disparities Project which resulted in a state-wide survey measuring mental health service access and treatment for the LGBT community.  In Australia, he has been part of state and national working groups advancing issues in LGBT and HIV aging.

According to Professor Nancy Pachana, Ph.D., Co-Director, UQ Ageing Mind Initiative, at the University of Queensland (Australia):

“Dr. Parker has sought out jobs that utilize his considerable skills with vulnerable populations,” she said. “These are patients not only battling co-occurring disorders and negative social determinants of health, but decades of destructive experiences with stigma in the behavioral health profession.”

“With Dr. Parker, they find themselves establishing trust in a judgment-free environment,” Pachana said.

Additionally, Dr. Parker is motivating D.A.P. leadership to address affordable pain management alternatives and embrace new approaches to long-term survivors and older adults. Also, his expertise is making it possible for the Federally Qualified Health Center to pursue recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home and a leader in providing transgender care.

According to colleague Jill Gover, Ph.D., Clinic Director, Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic at The Center:

“Dr. Parker is aware that aging can compound the challenges facing those living with HIV,” she said. “He understands that specific therapeutic approaches are needed to address these problems, and works both in his practice and in the larger community to promote awareness of these issues.”

Teaching and Mentoring Leadership

Dr. Parker never stops sharing what he learns. Frequent lectures and trainings on issues relevant to mental health among people living with HIV promote excellence worldwide.

“Those of us who were once new to acknowledge the complexities that sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV infection played in our practice have found in Dr. Parker a guidepost and a mentor,” said Dr. Nancy Pachana, a psychology colleague in Australia. “I’ve watched clinicians in all stages of their career who were initially anxious or intimidated to tackle these emerging realities become culturally competent under his tutelage.”

In 2018 he engaged Pauline Crameri from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia to offer a training to D.A.P.’s 230 staff members on addressing health and psychosocial needs of LGBT older adults, drawing upon research and best practices from her country.

This fall he served as the mentor to D.A.P. clinicians attending the Global Education Initiative by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). As the co-chair of D.A.P.’s Transgender Health Program, Dr. Parker works closely with fellow co-chair and nurse practitioner, Anthony Velasco, MS, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, AAHIVS.

“Dr. Parker has illustrated leadership to open our doors wider so we can provide comprehensive and compassionate care to all people – regardless of their HIV status, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” said Velasco. “Dr. Parker has inspired all of us to do better and be better for the community we serve.”

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing D.A.P. in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency. Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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Steve Chase Star Dedication February 8 P …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8401

PALM SPRINGS, CA (January 16, 2019) –Designer and humanitarian Steve Chase will receive the 427th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on February 8.  The dedication ceremony will take place at 4:30PM at the steps of the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Three of the valleys most notable non-profit organizations will come together to honor Chase for the impact his support made locally.  David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project, Allen Monroe, CEO of The Living Desert, and Katherine Hough, Chief Curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum will each pay tribute to a man who impacted the work of their organizations.

Board Chair of Desert AIDS Project, Steve Kaufer, was a personal friend of Steve Chase and remembers Chase’s commitment to serving people living with HIV/AIDS.  “D.A.P. started in 1984, and we had a small office, and then we moved to a facility on Vella Road in Palm Springs—but it was an industrial building,” Kaufer said. “I don’t know what it had been used for before we moved in, but it was pretty rough around the edges, and Steve became involved. He used his talents and his firm, and he also leaned on a lot of his vendors to donate services and products that could be used in his work at the D.A.P. to make it look pretty.”

“He felt that, just because we were a charity, and we were dealing a lot of times with people who lived below the poverty level, we didn’t have to have an office that looked horrible. He wanted people who came in to have a nice environment in which to be in, to receive their care, and to work.”

In the 1980s and early 1990s, it was difficult to raise money for HIV- and AIDS-related service organizations like D.A.P., because the virus and disease such carried a huge stigma.

“It wasn’t popular to be a corporate sponsor of an AIDS program, and many people in the area of normal philanthropy didn’t look at AIDS as an area that they wanted to get involved in,” Kaufer said. “Steve recognized that, and he used his celebrity and his contacts with major stars and big people like Joan Kroc, and President and Mrs. (Gerald) Ford, to try to expand the giving that D.A.P. received from groups that we normally wouldn’t get funding from.”

Those contacts paid huge dividends, as did Chase’s personal generosity. Not only did he lend significant support to D.A.P. – he also gave major support to the organizations today known as The Living Desert and Gardens, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Steve Chase founded Steve Chase Associates, his Rancho Mirage interior design firm, in 1980, following a lengthy and noted affiliation with Arthur Elrod Associates of Palm Springs. An acclaimed designer, Chase was active for many years in community organizations, including the Desert AIDS Project, the Palm Springs Desert Museum, The Living Desert Reserve, and The McCallum Theatre. During his firm’s formative stages, Chase offered design, consulting, and purchasing services to the McCallum Theatre, confirming his longtime passion for the performing arts. In addition, numerous projects were undertaken at The Living Desert Reserve where Chase was a Board Member. Chase worked closely with Reserve administration, offering both design and financial support for additions including Eagle Canyon and the Meerkat Café.

Chase contributed $2.5 million to The Living Desert Reserve for construction of an administrative center and a collection of California landscape art. In addition, he gave $1.5 million and 132 works of art to the Palm Springs Desert Museum, which opened the Steve Chase Art Wing and Education Center in 1996.

Chase’s introduction to the Desert AIDS Project followed his Board work with The Design Alliance to Combat AIDS (D.A.C.A.) in Los Angeles. The impact and need for local community services was apparent early, and Chase was committed to serving the desert community following his departure from the D.A.C.A. Board. He was an annual participant in the Desert AIDS Walk and he was instrumental in bringing “Heartstrings” to the Coachella Valley in 1992. This production was followed by “A Valentine’s Gala” in 1993, when Betty Ford, Joan Kroc, and Chase were honored for their longtime compassion and personal dedication to the Desert AIDS Project and its clients. Chase introduced his friends, business associates, and clients to the Desert AIDS Project and encouraged their financial and personal involvement. This introduction led to the dedication and donation of the private residence of Joan Kroc to Desert AIDS Project, a significant donation which allowed the D.A.P. to expand and broaden its mission.

Chase’s professional honors included Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame Award, and Designer of the Year, presented to him by Designers West Magazine. The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards honors Steve Chase’s commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars dedication serves as the beginning to a weekend of events honoring the legacy of Steve Chase.  The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards VIP party will follow the dedication inside the Palm Springs Art Museum for a guest list of donors and supporters of D.A.P.  The 25th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is February 9 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. 

To reserve your place at the party for the 25th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, go to  www.stevechase25.eventbrite.com or call 760-992-0445.

This year’s awards will posthumously honor Steve Chase with Steve Chase Humanitarian Award honoring the impact 25 years of fundraising has made at Desert AIDS Project.  The evening will also honor Geoff Kors and James Williamson’s marriage to community service when they are presented with the Partners for Life Award.  Kors and Williamson have a long history of community leadership, focusing their time and resources on social and political issues as varied as LGBTQA+ rights, education, and healthcare.  Long-time supporters of Desert AIDS Project, both are members of Partners For Life.  Locally, Williamson served on the Palm Springs School Board and Kors is a member of the Palm Springs City Council.

D.A.P. Chief Development Officer, Darrell Tucci explained why this award is so important. “Few individuals have made a lasting impact in our community with the purpose and clarity of Geoff and James.”

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing D.A.P. in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency. Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

The ABCs of working with LGBTQ Inclusion

Pre-Conference Workshop for the Finding Freedom LGBTQ Symposium: Desert AIDS Project presents The ABCs of Working With LGBTQ Inclusion

Presenters will examine regional trends, issues and concerns, and discuss what is on the horizon both socially and legally for LGBTQ+ treatment staff, community members and clients. Attendees will explore personal and professional inclusiveness and what could be improved to create a safer space for community members and clients.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Identify areas in personal and professional lives where we are not creating an open, safe space for community members and clients, specifically LGBTQ+
  • Discover ways to be more inclusive, personally and professionally
  • Examine trends specific to the Coachella Valley in regards to LGBTQ+ Issues and Concerns
  • Explore what is on the horizon for LGBTQ+ rights, both socially and legally.

3 CEU’s for Addiction Professionals

Click here to RSVP!

5th Annual Everyday Heroes Awards

5th Annual Everyday Heroes
November 30, 2018
Palm Springs Cultural Center

Desert AIDS Project honors local everyday heroes who’ve made an impact in our community. The annual event, now in its fifth year, features an outdoor reception, awards presentations, live entertainment and an after-party. Traditionally held on December 1, World AIDS Day, this year’s event will be held a day prior on November 30. Click here for tickets to the 5th Annual everyday Heroes Awards!

Queen of the Desert 2018 Celebrity Judge …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8401

Queen of the Desert 2018

Celebrity Judge Lypsinka to perform

PALM SPRINGS, CA, May 15, 2018 – Ethylina Canne, winner of Best in Drag 2016, returns to host Queen of the Desert assisted by Bella da Ball as “Voice of Goddess” on  Friday, June 1 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The fun begins with cocktails at 6:00 PM and show time at 7:00 PM.  The annual event is as much a friend-raiser as fundraiser, serving as a start of summer outing for local drag fans.  Tickets start at $20 with VIP seating available.

Legendary Entertainer Lypsinka will serve as a celebrity judge and wow the sold-out audience with a very special performance.  Joining Lypsinka on the judge’s panel this year will be Joey English, Kaye Ballard, Dottie Du Boise and Maude Chapeau of Les Dames du Soleil.

2017 Queen of the Desert Vanity Halston will defend her lip-sync competition crown against Mona Statseven, Rusty Waters, Lady Vajayjay, Lola, and Xotica EroticaEach contestant will be scored on talent, evening gown, and bathing costume.  The five-person judging panel will select Queen of the Desert and Fan donations will determine the Queen of the Desert Fan Favorite award.

Last year was a sold-out crowd of 700 and raised $35,000 for Desert AIDS Project. Only 130 tickets remain for this year’s competition so fans will want to get tickets soon via Eventbrite.  Fans of the competition can get a jump-start on making their choice for Fan Favorite feel the love, by voting for  Queen of the Desert Fan Favorite 2018.  Each dollar donated counts as one vote.


Asked what we can expect from this year’s show, Host Ethylina Canne was enthusiastic.  “First and foremost, we’re at a new venue with theatre seating.  Jeffrey Drew is directing and he also directs Best in Drag.  It will be a tighter show with multi-media because of the large screen at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It’s going to be Queen of the Desert 2.0.”

In the tradition of past special appearances, Desert AIDS Project Board Chair, Steve Kaufer, will raise funds by making his drag debut at this year’s event.

Queen of the Desert 2018 is presented by Hop Valley Brewing Co. and sponsored by Gilead, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Tito’s Vodka, Kimpton Rowan, and The Abbey.  Contestant sponsors include: Azul, Chill Bar, Hunter’s Toucan’s and Shamrock Escrow.

About Lypsinka
The character of Lypsinka was created by veteran New Yorker John Epperson, a native of Hazlehurst, Mississippi. On stage as Lypsinka, Epperson has written and starred in the following critically acclaimed shows: I Could Go on Lip-SynchingNow It Can Be Lip-Synched; Lypsinka! A Day In the Life (2 Drama Desk nominations); As I Lay Lip-Synching; Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed!; Lypsinka IS Harriet Craig!Lypsinka! The Boxed Set (Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Non-Resident Production; L.A. Weekly Theatre Award Best Solo Performance; Drama Desk nomination); Lypsinka! The Trilogy (2014)and a new cabaret show John Epperson: The Artist Principally Known as Lypsinka. Epperson has also starred as The Stepmother in the NYCO production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center; The Passion of the Crawford, a fantasia on Joan Crawford; Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House (Off-Broadway, 2017); and Once Upon A Mattress (Off-Broadway, 2015).

As a film actor, Epperson has appeared in Black Swan, Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper, Wigstock: The MovieAngels in America, Kinsey, Vampire’s Kiss and Another Gay Movie. He was the guest curator of the Club 57 film series “You Are Now One Of Us” at the Museum of Modern Art 2017-2018. The audio recording of Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House will be available from First Look Media in 2018 with the original Off-Broadway cast. Epperson is the author of three screenplays and a teleplay. Epperson and Lypsinka are the subjects of an Emmy-winning television documentary for PBS. www.lypsinka.com

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and free HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. is rated a “Top 20 HIV Charity” by About.com. Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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Desert AIDS Project Announces Substantia …

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jack Bunting, PR Specialist
Tel: (760) 656-8472
Email: jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

Desert AIDS Project Announces Substantial Fee Reduction for STD Screening And Treatment

HIV, HCV Screenings and PEP remain free-of-charge

Amid an alarming spike in syphilis cases in the Coachella Valley, Desert AIDS Project is further removing barriers to access for sexual health services by lowering fees for STD screening from $80 to $25 at its DOCK clinic. This price includes labs and treatment.  Anyone at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level is eligible for a sliding fee scale for these services.

Desert AIDS Project has long been a resource for compassionate and non-judgmental STD care. Remaining free-of-charge are screenings for HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

In Riverside County, syphilis cases run about 12 per 100,000 people, and the Coachella Valley has 32 cases per 100,000. But the numbers show highest concentrations in Palm Springs, with over 100 cases per 100,000, and North Palm Springs, with 185 cases per 100,000 people. (Riverside University Health System)

County health officials have scheduled the Riverside County Syphilis Community Collaborative today from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Demuth Community Center, located at 3601 East Mesquite Avenue, Palm Springs. An array of community members representing faith-based organizations, health organizations, medical providers, schools, and insurers will convene to exchange ideas on how together they can help beat this epidemic. Also attending will be officials from the California Department of Public Health.

“Public funding for healthcare is harder to find every day,” said David Brinkman, D.A.P. CEO. “But making STD screening and treatment attainable for all members in our community is how we can do our part to confront this syphilis epidemic head-on.”

While syphilis disproportionately affects gay men and HIV positive gay men, it also has a devastating effect on women, especially those giving birth. According to the California Department of Public Health, the number of infants born with congenital syphilis increased for the fifth year in a row. In 2017 alone, 30 babies in California were stillborn due to being infected. When babies survive, they often live with permanent disabilities like blindness, deafness, bone problems, and ruined teeth.

In addition to syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are also on the rise, making regular screening and access to treatment even more vital.

“We are very concerned about the rising rates of STDs in California,” said Dr. Heidi Bauer, M.D., M.P.H., Chief, STD Control Branch, California Department of Public Health. “Last year, over 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported, a 45% increase over the past 5 years.”

The DOCK accepts walk-ins Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., although appointments are recommended. Due to demand, caregiver schedules can fill up quickly.

For more information, visit thedockclinic.org.

About Desert AIDS Project 
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and free HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. is rated a “Top 20 HIV Charity” by About.com.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

D.A.P. Affirms the Growing Evidence That …

Desert AIDS Project affirms our strong support and advocacy for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a critical HIV Prevention strategy. We provide PrEP navigation and medication through our DOCK Clinic and Health Center to increase PrEP utilization among Gay Men in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

While Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) rates have been increasing in California and the United States since 2000, D.A.P. does not believe any correlation has been shown between increasing PrEP use and STI increases. We know that regular STI testing that is part of the PrEP protocol identifies people that are infected with STIs who would not have been identified without PrEP.

While the misperception continues that PrEP causes increased risky sex and increased STIs, the facts on the ground show the opposite is true. There may be initial increases in STIs resulting from increased testing, yet STI clinics are actually reporting decreasing rates of STIs among people on PrEP.  One study presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections identified that the regular STI screenings that are part of PrEP use result in a significant decrease in the rate of STI cases.

We remain passionately and steadfastly committed to increasing PrEP use in order to prevent HIV.  Increased PrEP use will not only decrease new HIV infections but will increase testing and diagnosis for STIs, including Syphilis. This is a key strategy to decrease new STI infections.
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