Call: (760) 323-2118
8am to 5pm Monday - Friday

Call: (760) 323-2118
8am to 5pm Mon - Fri

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Media Contacts:

Jack Bunting
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 323-2118
 

Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
760-656-8401

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020 

Palm Springs, CA (September 8, 2020) – It’s that time of year again, and AIDS Walk 2020 is an exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about ending AIDS and opening up healthcare for all to carry on this important and life affirming tradition.  

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 will last for two days and will span cities across the Coachella Valley, October 23 & 24.

Festivities include an online wellness forum. This is an opportunity for entertainment and to learn more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

Walk routes in surrounding desert cities are also offered, a new feature that lets everyone participate in Desert AIDS Walk 2020 while getting out and enjoying their own communities.  More info is at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org

This year, the traditional Palm Springs route remains a favorite pathway, and it’s been mapped out and is available for download.  

Capture and share your HOPE

Along the way there are plenty of opportunities for walkers to safely take selfies, like at new art installations, or designated stops to say hello to local businesses—all with the intention of sharing messages of HOPE via social media. 

In many ways, Desert AIDS Walk has always been virtual.  When it began thirty-four years ago, the first organizers say they did not know if the community would support it, but they knew the only way forward was together. Support from was instant, and their HOPE started to grow.  

 When walkers register, they will be given three clear reasons to walk in 2020:   

  • Healthcare Access for All 
  • HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care 
  • COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.    

Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way For COVID Response

Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that helps people with HIV. 

Thirty-four years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID-19 Triage Clinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today's crisis.  

Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains: "By opening one of California's first COVID clinics, DAP made a choice.  We are survivors; fear cannot rule us; when crisis sets it, we step forward."  

  • We have the ability to end epidemics, including HIV and COVID 
  • We integrate Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment as critical components of Primary Care 
  • We address Social Determinates of Health, including racism and poverty, through our inclusive model of healthcare. 

With the ongoing courage and support of this community, our organization thrives.    

The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it’s understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone.  But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response.  It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help.   

And as we’ve learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.     You can find out more at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP 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. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’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. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP 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.org to learn more.




Spike in HIV and STIs Troubles Preventio …

Spike in HIV and STIs Troubles Prevention Experts at DAP

Palm Springs, CA (July 16, 2020) -- Steadily rising rates of HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia in the Coachella Valley are showing that the last five months of living in the “new normal” has interfered with people taking care of their sexual health. These rates pose a significant threat to our community, one that is already fatigued from socially isolating and nervous about coming indoors for testing and medical visits.

By using DAP’s new at-home HIV testing resources, clients no longer have to put their health on hold if they are sheltering in place. Anyone interested in using these resources or have questions about accessing sexually health services should email testing@desertaidsproject.org or contact April Cruz, Community Health Diagnostic Testing & Outreach Manager at 760-656-8425.

DAP Testing data from June shows why community health experts have reason to worry. According to DAP, there were:

  • Triple the amount of new HIV infections, compared to any other month in the last year and-a-half,
  • Double the amount of new syphilis infections compared to May,
  • Double the chlamydia cases (a six-month trend!).

“If we take our finger off the pulse of the existing HIV and STI epidemic, we will undo the progress we’ve made in preventing new transmissions,” said C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health. “The lack of routine testing and treatment is only going to add to the tragedy of COVID-19.”

What Is A Syndemic?

Together, HIV, HCV and STIs create a syndemic—a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes.

For example, having an STD increases the likelihood of acquiring HIV.  Among people who are living with HCV and HIV, HCV progresses faster and more than triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure, and liver related death. These epidemics are also driven by similar social and economic conditions and disproportionately impact many of the same disadvantaged communities.

DAP is part of End The Epidemics, a statewide working group of approximately 160 public health and community organizations urging Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to empower key stakeholders as soon as possible to fund and implement California’s strategy to end the HIV, HCV, and STI epidemics.

About End The Epidemics

The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, together with HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations across California, have launched a community-driven effort to inform development of a statewide plan to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics in California. What makes this initiative innovative and unique – in addition to community leadership – is its ambitious goal of addressing these health conditions as a syndemic – a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes. The syndemic approach differs from the biomedical approach in that it treats diseases concurrently and also addresses the social determinants of health that drive these epidemics. To learn more, visit: www.chprc.org/end-the-epidemics/

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Community Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP 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.  DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment for only $25 per visit, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’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.  DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

DAP Statement on Coronavirus for Friday, …

For updated information, please visit https://www.desertaidsproject.org/questions-and-answers-on-coronavirus/

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is committed to providing useful information for our clients concerning COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Riverside County of locally acquired COVID-19 disease.

DAP is working closely with the County of Riverside Department of Public Health (RIVCO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track the epidemic of COVID-19 disease.

Fortify yourself from respiratory illness

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Stay updated on COVID-19 disease in Riverside County and the U.S.

If you are interested in daily updates, please visit the following websites:

RUHS-PH COVID-19 page: http://rivcoph.org/coronavirus/

CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Current CDC travel advisories: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

You can also find out more by calling the following:

CDC Information Line:
800-CDC-INFO
(800) 232-4636
TTY 888-232-6348

Riverside County Public Information Line: (951) 358-5134

###

Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Could Drama …

Congressman Ruiz, M.D. and Community Say No to Slashing Medicare and Medicaid

Local healthcare providers stand up for affordable care

DAP thanks Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) for speaking out against the proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which would cut $1.6 trillion from health care programs over the next 10 years. Dr. Ruiz brought attention to the steep cuts the proposed budget would bring to programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We applaud the Congressman's commitment to ensuring our Coachella Valley community has access to quality and affordable healthcare. 

To learn more, please watch our live stream below or visit https://ruiz.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/trump-prepares-visit-palm-springs-area-congressman-raul-ruiz-md-takes

Call these Republican Senators today and …

The Senate tax bill cuts funding for domestic programs that could undermine the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, HIV prevention, and funding for housing for people living with HIV.
 
Given the fact that more than 40% of people living with HIV who are in care are covered by Medicaid, these cuts could have a negative impact on access to and quality of care for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with HIV. 

Call these Senators TODAY and tell them to stand firm for a bi-partisan tax reform measure that will not undermine U.S. health care programs.
 
·      Lisa Murkowski (R – AK): Click to call (202) 224-6665, @lisamurkowski 
·      Susan Collins (R – ME):  Click to call (202) 224-2523, @SenatorCollins
·      Bob Corker (R – TN): Click to call (202) 224-3344, @SenBobCorker
·      John McCain (R – AZ): Click to call (202) 224-2235, @SenJohnMcCain
·      Jeff Flake (R – AZ): Click to call (202) 224-4521, @JeffFlake
 
Sample script: Senator — I am calling because we need principled Republicans like you to vote NO on the Senate tax bill. The bill defies Republican principles by adding at least $1.5 trillion to the national deficit and undermines U.S. health care programs like the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare. The Republican Party can do better. Thank you for standing up for party principles.*
 

National HIV Call-In Day to Save Our Hea …

Yesterday, the Senate released its own version of the American Health Care Act. They are expected to vote on it as early as Tuesday, June 27. U.S. Senators must hear from the HIV community that gutting health care for millions of Americans, including folks living with and vulnerable to HIV, is unacceptable.

On Monday, June 26, we’re joining forces with AIDS Service Organizations around the country to tell our senators to #KilltheBill and #ProtectOurCare.

Here’s how you can help:

  • 1. Urge your colleagues, friends, relatives or anyone you can reach to call their senators using the HIV Hotline – (866) 246-9371 – for National Call-In Day on June 26th.
  • 2. When asked, provide your zip code.  You will be directed to key senators in your state.
  • 3. Tell the person who answers: your name; where you live; that you are a person with HIV or a person affected by HIV; that the American Health Care Act will cause people with HIV to lose health care coverage; and that you urge the senator to oppose the American Health Care Act.
  • Next Steps:

    Share your message on social media. Tweet at your senators, organize a phone bank, write an op-ed. Click here to download the full toolkit and social sharing images from Positive Women’s Network.

X