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

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

DAP earns “LGBTQ Health Care Equality …

DAP earns “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” Designation in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

Palm Springs, CA (September 3, 2020) -- DAP has earned “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation is in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released in August. A record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 193 earned an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation.

“When we started 36 years ago, HIV rights and the fight for medical access were synonymous with LGBTQ rights,” said David Brinkman, DAP CEO. “Opening our doors wider requires doing the work to always ensure that we hold ourselves accountable when it comes to honoring every letter in the acronym LGBTQ.” 

Every year, HRC recognizes the health care facilities that participate in the HEI for their dedication and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion. HRC also extends its deepest gratitude to these facilities for their courageous fight against COVID-19 and their commitment to addressing racism and injustice. As the final HEI surveys were submitted in March, health care facilities were kicking into overdrive to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Many faced a lack of equipment, staffing shortages and surging demand. Two months later, as the fight against COVID-19 continued, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers thrust America’s structural racism into the spotlight. HEI participants issued strong statements on racial justice and equity, participated in White Coats for Black Lives demonstrations and announced new programs to address racial inequities in their institutions and their communities.

In the 2020 report, an impressive 495 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 193 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 90% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2020 HEI includes:

  • 92% of participants met the HEI's training requirements, completing more than 150,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
  • 53% of HEI participants indicated that their facility has a policy or policies that specifically outline procedures and practices aimed at eliminating bias and insensitivity, and ensuring appropriate, welcoming interactions with transgender patients.
  • After many years of trailing their corporate counterparts in the provision of transgender-inclusive health care benefits for employees, HEI participating healthcare facilities are nearly on par with the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) participants as 80% have at least one health care plan that offered this benefit. The latest CEI noted 85% of participants having such benefits.

In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies at over 1,000 non-participating hospitals. Unfortunately, the adoption rate at these researched hospitals stands in stark contrast to the near-perfect adoption by active participants. Among the researched hospitals in which we were able to find or obtain enumerated patient non-discrimination policies, only 67% have policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 63% were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93%, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the education arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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Prioritizing the Health Care Needs of Ou …

Prioritizing the Health Care Needs of Our Community

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 29, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Working Towards COVID-19 Testing For All

We should offer Coronavirus testing to everybody, to guide re-opening with data driven decisions. We are committed to the work it will take to make that a reality in this community, and we are proud that our COVID Clinic has been able to test thousands of people already with rapid antibody and Nasal swab testing. But we have a way to go before universal testing is a reality.  

Our COVID Clinic prioritizes symptomatic patients for testing over asymptomatic patients who have had a high-risk exposure, and this is because we are forced to triage resources for those who are most in need. This is not our first choice, given what we know is possible if we test everyone who requests one.

We are still fighting to end HIV, and we will never forget the difference we made once we were able to offer testing to anyone who wanted one, regardless of ability to pay.

If you or anyone you know have questions about testing for COVID-19, please call our hotline at (760) 992-0407.

For our Q&A about Coronavirus, click here.

DAP Talks: Maintain Wellness With Chiropractic Care

People at all fitness levels are experiencing extra inflammation, muscle and joint pain, and stiffness brought on by COVID stress. In this week’s DAP Talks, Dr. Jim Cox explains why these issues don’t have to be a given as we all shelter in place. Click here to listen.

There is a lot more hope for adapting to the new normal, especially because accessing chiropractic services at DAP is now open to non-clients. If you know anyone needing adjustments and coaching from our compassionate and experienced Doctor of Chiropractic, please call (760) 323-2118 or request an appointment on MyChart.

ANAC Promotion For Anthony Velasco

Ask any long-term HIV/AIDS survivor, and they will tell you the impact nurses make in their lives. Nurses keep PLWHA safe by managing their care, and their empathy and support are linked to sustaining ART adherence.

When you have a global network of engaged nurses who work in AIDS care sharing knowledge, life and care for PLWHA is so much better. That is the function of The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC).

It’s an honor to announce DAP HIV Specialist, Anthony Velasco, nurse practitioner and co-chair of our Transgender Care Program, has been elevated by ANAC to the office of Nominating Committee.

According to ANAC, “Anthony's dedication and commitment to the organization and all of those affected by HIV/AIDS is recognized and appreciated by us all. The membership has voiced their confidence in your leadership.”

We are so proud of Anthony. For more information about Anthony and DAP’s Gender Affirming Care, click here.

ANAC Promotion For Anthony Velasco

ANAC Promotion For Anthony Velasco

Ask any long-term HIV/AIDS survivor, and they will tell you the impact nurses make in their lives. Nurses keep PLWHA safe by managing their care, and their empathy and support are linked to sustaining ART adherence.

When you have a global network of engaged nurses who work in AIDS care sharing knowledge, life and care for PLWHA is so much better. That is the function of The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC).

It’s an honor to announce DAP HIV Specialist, Anthony Velasco, nurse practitioner and co-chair of our Transgender Care Program, has been elevated by ANAC to the office of Nominating Committee.

According to ANAC, “Anthony's dedication and commitment to the organization and all of those affected by HIV/AIDS is recognized and appreciated by us all. The membership has voiced their confidence in your leadership.”

We are so proud of Anthony. For more information about Anthony and DAP’s Gender Affirming Care, please watch the Born to Be panel discussion below.

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.

Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

Maintain Wellness With Chiropractic Care

Maintain Wellness With Chiropractic Care

People at all fitness levels are experiencing extra inflammation, muscle and joint pain, and stiffness brought on by COVID stress. In this week’s DAP Talks, Dr. Jim Cox explains why these issues don’t have to be a given as we all shelter in place.

There is a lot more hope for adapting to the new normal, especially because accessing chiropractic services at DAP is now open to non-clients. If you know anyone needing adjustments and coaching from our compassionate and experienced Doctor of Chiropractic, please call (760) 323-2118 or request an appointment on MyChart.

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.

Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

Did You Know Volunteering Gives You Life …

Did You Know Volunteering Gives You Lifelong Personal Growth and Well-Being? 

One of the main benefits of volunteering, besides helping others, is the lifelong personal growth and well-being. Doing good in your community helps you work together towards equity and equality for everyone. It gives you a sense of purpose in life and it also strengthens your ties with your local community. Depending on where you decide to volunteer, you will make a real difference in the lives of others. Every volunteer can make a difference. However, the more you volunteer the more happy and complete you feel within.  

Five benefits from volunteering: 

  1. Helps you share your skills and develop new ones- Many times when volunteering, you discover hidden talents as you share your skills with your team. You may learn one’s from others’ expertise and may spark other interests for you. It also helps boosts your skills and expand your network. It’s a win-win situation. 
  2. Connects you with others in your community- You’re providing a valuable service to the community and giving back through social responsibility. You become part of a change to continue build a new, better community. 
  3. Helps you build self- confidence and self-esteem- Your role as a volunteer can give you a sense of pride and identity. The more you feel good about yourself, the more you will transmit positive vibes to those around you. 
  4. Gives you a sense of purpose- Many studies have shown helping others kindles happiness. Whatever age or life situation, volunteering will help take your mind off your own worries. It will also keep you mentally stimulated.  
  5. Important for your career- if you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get the experience needed and open doors for you in that field. If changing careers is not your plan, volunteering will also give you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace. 

If you’re ready to make new friends, share your skills while gaining others and improving your health, then this is the time for you to get involved in volunteering. Your life will change to the better, but you will change the lives of others forever. Start volunteering today! 

Want to be part of our team of Volunteers? 

Put your talent and time to work and make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  Revivals support Desert AIDS Project, a federally qualified healthcare center that 7,000 of your neighbors call their healthcare home. 

Our volunteers are changing the world one hour at a time. We need your help. Please go to www.revivalsstores.com to fill out a short interest form. We look forward to seeing you soon! Support the community you want to create. 

Our 36th Birthday

Our 36th Birthday

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 22, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Today marks the 36th birthday of Desert AIDS Project, and when we take a look around, I’m extremely moved to see that our team continues to fulfill our founding promise—to save lives and prevent new HIV infections in the Coachella Valley.

I’m reminded of how the worst years of the AIDS crisis taught us how to respond quickly and thoroughly for the public health of our community, even when guidance was scarce. I’m proud of our team’s courage in applying these values today, whether through continuous COVID-19 support to over 3,000 patients so far in our Triage Clinic, or by keeping our 7,500 Health Center patients engaged in medical and behavioral care without missing a beat.

Journalist Nicholas Snow created an inspiring birthday tribute with a new collection of interviews with the people who make DAP so special today.  You can watch them by clicking here. 

DAP Talks: New Service at DAP! Drive-Up Condom Kits

People are testing positive for HIV and STIs at an increasing rate compared to this time last year, and we want to provide everything in the toolbox to protect themselves and others.

We know that access to condoms is an effective prevention tool, but the public and social venues where we’ve always shared them are closed.

We are so thankful to our Condom Club for preparing thousands of condom kits to help us continue to fight COVID-19 as we now offer free drive-up condoms.  In our latest episode of DAP Talks, Community Health Educator Caitlin Becker tells us about her role as a sexual health educator and her work leading our free condom program.

Anyone can schedule a condom kit pickup by sending an email to testing@desertaidsproject.org

DAP In The News

Living with HIV in the age of COVID-19 triggers primal survival instincts for many of our patients, and a natural response is to stay home and nest. And with current shelter-in-place guidelines, this makes sense. But we’re concerned for our patients’ health as they put off testing for STIs and routine medical check-ups. 

Thanks to reporting in The Desert Sun, PLWHA were given another reason to feel more comfortable about coming in for items that cannot be fulfilled over telephone or video, like STI testing, essential lab work, and immunizations.

If you have managed HIV, you are not more likely to contract COVID-19 than anyone else, and this is great news for everyone. You can read Maria Sestito’s article here.

Joining Together To Do More

Joining Together To Do More

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 15, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Rallying For PLWHA In COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

PLWHA are commonly overlooked as subjects in pharmaceutical studies and vaccine research, so our doctors practice extra caution when choosing medicines for patients. But when they learned that PLWHA were being left out of two COVID-19 vaccine trials, they mobilized.

Thanks to our team joining forces with other LGBTQ and HIV advocates, both biotech companies have reversed their policies. In a study protocol change, people living with stable HIV will now be included in the trials. Click here to read more here

Valley Transgender Leadership Joined for BORN TO BE Screening and Panel

Our transgender siblings are at greater risk for HIV than the general population, and the many barriers they face accessing healthcare have only increased with COVID-19. We insist on changing this for the better, and we know from our history that when we join with other likeminded organizations for the same goal, we can achieve what had seemed impossible.

Anthony Velasco, co-chair of our Transgender Care Program, brought together local leaders in transgender health and advocacy to discuss opening our doors wider together.

The panelists, who are improving the lives of transgender people in the Coachella Valley, were: Planned Parenthood, Borrego Health, LGBT Center of the Desert, Transgender Health and Wellness Center, and Online Gender Care.

We are thankful for The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care – Greater Palm Springs Chapter’s sponsorship of this event, and to Anthony Velasco for his leadership.

Our Partner Palm Springs Family Care Center Is Growing

Soon our community will have greater access to primary care and other health services when The Palm Springs Family Care Center moves into a brand new, 35,000-square-foot community health center at the northwest corner of E. Tahquitz Canyon Way and N. Sunrise Way.

We are thankful for the efforts of Riverside University Health System to help our partner expand and address the healthcare needs of more people, and we remain committed to serving our community together. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

DAP COVID-19 Triage Nurse Kimmie Miller Celebrated as NBC Palm Springs, Toyota of the Desert and Honda of the Desert's Essential Worker of the Week 

Healthcare Information and Media Resource Sharing

COVID-19 proves that access to healthcare and information is not equal in every community, and we are fighting to prevent poor health outcomes for people of color and people living in poverty in our community.  We believe supporting access to information is an important part of this.

If you’re a member of the media looking for story resources like B-roll, stock photos, plus a lot more, our new online DAP Media Kit has many of the elements needed to tell new stories about DAP or Revivals Stores.

We’ve also made information about our life sustaining services more available than ever by bringing our collection of patient literature onto our website with our new Community Health Resources page.  

DAP Focused on Equal Access to Lifesavin …

DAP Focused on Equal Access to Lifesaving Information During Pandemic 

(Palm Springs, CA) August 12, 2020 -- More than ever, people need information to make the best choices for their health, and DAP has launched two new resources on its website aimed at keeping our community informed in a timely manner.  

“The pandemic proves that access to healthcare and information has not been equal in every community,” said DAP CEO David Brinkman. “And that inequality is driving poor health outcomes for people of color and people living in poverty.”

Created by DAP subject matter experts, these resources provide need-to-know information for anyone interested in the services DAP is known for, as well as anyone looking for resources to report about DAP or Revivals Stores for news stories. Materials are offered in English and en Español. 

DAP is making information about its life sustaining services more available than ever by bringing our collection of patient literature onto our website with our new Community Health Resources page.  

Each piece of literature can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF to save or share.  And if you’re a member of the media looking for story resources like B-roll, stock photos, plus a lot more, our new online DAP Media Kit has many of the elements needed to tell new stories about DAP or Revivals Stores. 

We Support Vigorous Storytelling 

About DAP Online Media Kit 

The DAP Media Kit is your one stop resource if you are a member of the press working on a story about DAP or Revivals Stores.  

In addition to media contact information, the kit offers: 

  • help with your newsgathering efforts
  • information on setting up an interview
  • DAP and Revivals Stores logos, images, and video for your story
  • social media channels

What the Community Health Resource Page Provides 

Topics include a COVID-19, HIV, STIs, Transgender Health, HCV and more. They include: 

COVID-19 Resource Guide 

Thriving with HIV: 

  • Living with HIV
  • HIV After Diagnosis

Preventing new cases: 

  • HIV Prevention
  • PrEP
  • PEP

Transgender Healthcare 

  • Safer Tucking
  • Safe Binding 
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy 

Hepatitis C 

Sexual Health 

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis

Youth Resource Guide 

DAP has learned a lot in 36 years of providing healthcare to the Coachella Valley, with an emphasis on helping people with HIV thrive, and ending new transmissions in our community. We invite you to use and share the resources on these pages. If you would like more information on any health topic, please call to speak to a specialist at 760-323-2118

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

DAP Docs: HIV Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vacc …

Dr Tulika Singh

DAP Docs: HIV Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participation 

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

PLWH are commonly overlooked as subjects in pharmaceutical studies and vaccine research, so our doctors practice extra caution when choosing medicines for patients. But when they learned that PLWH were being left out of two COVID-19 vaccine trials, they mobilized.

Thanks to our team joining forces with other LGBTQ and HIV advocates, biotech companies have reversed their policies. In a study protocol change, people living with stable HIV will now be included in the trials.

Reasons for excluding this group include assuming that PLWH are weakened physically, but after more than a decade of providing HIV care, Dr. Singh knows this to be a generalization. Today, people on antiretroviral medications have strong immune systems, thanks to viral suppression. They are suitable candidates for these studies.

According to Dr. Singh, there is a risk when PLWH are not included in these studies.

“This is a disservice to them, as what works for non-positive people might not work in PLWH,” she said. “But we wouldn’t know until it fails or is unsafe in this population, and it’s too late by then.”

Without having PLWH represented in COVID-19 vaccine trials, we won’t have an accurate picture of how PLWH will respond to the intervention in the real world, according to Dr. Singh.

It’s important to know, because despite the miracle of modern ART, doctors still monitor their patients for immune dysfunction, persistent inflammation, and evolving host microbiome issues caused by the HIV virus and medications.

Please click here to learn more about Research at DAP, including ANCHOR Study, which is resuming soon.

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization in Palm Springs, CA offering 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.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

Continuing The Care We Are Known For

Continuing The Care We Are Known For

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 8, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

People With HIV Need Unique Care During COVID-19

People living with HIV, and especially anyone aging with HIV, need options that keep them continuously in care in spite of COVID. Since the beginning of DAP, our doctors have shared their experience with providers everywhere on best practices for providing excellent HIV care for their patients. When doctors help each other learn, patients always come out on top.

Dr. Jill Gover continued this on a panel by HealthHIV that examined managing HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. She explored the impact of mental and sexual health on HIV care, based on decades of experience and feedback from the Behavioral Health Department at DAP. You can find out more here.

DAP In The News

Staying On Top Of Sexual Health

C.J. Tobe and his team’s work to tackle the current STI and HIV surges were featured in an article in The Standard. The story also explains the dangerous syndemic nature among HIV, STIs, and HCV, and the work being done by End The Epidemics to keep Californians safer. You can read more here.

Born to Be Film Screening

We know our transgender siblings face unimaginable alienation in healthcare settings, and a recent study from UC Riverside researchers in the School of Medicine backs that up.  Only 15% of individuals reported it was easy to find a provider with sufficient knowledge and experience on issues related to transgender people. That isn’t the case at DAP, and we’re committed to fighting this stigma by sharing stories of transgender people as they navigate their journeys of transformation.

We’re partnering with the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care - Greater Palm Springs to host a free virtual screening of Born To Be on August 13. It’s a documentary that follows the trans and gender non-conforming individuals who are changing their lives at the groundbreaking  Mount Sinai Hospital. Learn more and RSVP at https://bit.ly/BORNTOBE #BornToBeFilm

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