D.A.P. doctors keep patients on the HIV Care Continuum

Think about this on March 30, National Doctors Day: Desert AIDS Project has 10 full- and part-time physicians participating in the HIV Care Continuum. D.A.P. doctors and their peers at ASOs in the U.S. and the world are passionate about the HIV Care Continuum designed to get community members tested and those who are diagnosed […]

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D.A.P.’s nutritionist prescribes good food for good health

The health care world, including Desert AIDS Project, looks at nutrition as a key part of good health. That’s why Gustavo Wong, registered dietitian and certified exercise physiologist, joined us about eight months ago as yet another facet of D.A.P.’s holistic approach to the care of our patients and clients. Food is medicine for all […]

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A memorial to a loved one = a new lease on life for D.A.P.’s Computer Lab

For years, D.A.P.’s Computer Lab has been providing a connection to the digital world for clients who may not have access to computers or the Internet from home or elsewhere. While the lab’s computer equipment was serviceable enough, it certainly wasn’t latest generation or state-of-the-art. But much of that has changed, thanks to Harold Clumeck’s […]

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Broadway comes to Palm Springs

The southwest corner of Sunrise and Vista Chino in Palm Springs isn’t the address of either the McCallum or the Annenberg theaters. So, how did “The Color Purple,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and the New York City Ballet find their way there from The Big Apple? Snippets of Broadway – literal snips of fabric from […]

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Time-tested, tried-and-true: the condom has been useful for centuries

Fifty-three thousand, three-hundred, and fifty-two. That’s the number of safer sex kits Desert AIDS Project volunteer Gene Touchet has built since he joined our Condom Club in 1998. That’s 53,352 opportunities to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections, (STIs), and unintended pregnancies in D.A.P.’s service area. That’s 53,352 chances for our family, friends, and […]

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Q&A with one of D.A.P.’s newer medical providers

As a Doctor of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Rodney Fox came to Desert AIDS Project from a healthcare center in Atlanta called Pride Medical, where his daily practice included caring for both the LGBT community and those living with HIV or AIDS. In addition to putting his knowledge and experience to work as an Adjunct, Assistant […]

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Expanding D.A.P. services for even greater clinical care and research

If change is progress in search of perfection, as Winston Churchill said, D.A.P. has made progress in a big way in 2015 … and we have even greater plans for 2016 and beyond. “Thanks to new advances in treatment, improved access to care through health reform, and the incredible success of PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, as […]

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A beautiful evening, reprised yet again by a grateful D.A.P.

The banquet hall at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel gradually fills with 400 guests. And the gentle roar of 400 conversations in the softly lit room quiets as the Desert Winds Freedom Band Jazz Sextet begins to play. It’s Desert AIDS Project’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Hudson Alling, volunteer coordinator, is about to take the […]

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In the Coachella Valley… “throw a rock in any direction and you’re bound to hit a meth dealer.”

That’s how clients of Desert AIDS Project describe the prevalence of crystal methamphetamine –commonly referred to as meth, crystal, Tina, ice, or glass, among other street names – in the Coachella Valley. Just as crystal meth has become a social problem on a global scale, our clients insist it plagues many of the people D.A.P. […]

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Speak up during National Bullying Prevention Month

Thomas was in that figuring-it-all-out stage of adolescence when he first enrolled in an East Valley middle school, right here in our lovely desert community. But just as he was coming to grips with the way he talks, walks, and all the other things that make him, well, Thomas, he was pelted with paper wads, […]

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Brande Director of Grants talks about National Health Center Week

Health Centers provide valuable care to the poor and uninsured

National Health Center Week Aug. 9 through Aug. 15 recognizes and gives thanks to the medical teams that treat the under-served populations of our nation in smaller settings right in their own neighborhoods. These Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, started about 50 years ago to serve low-income patients largely in […]

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National Strategy for ending HIV/AIDS gets updated

On July 30, the national strategy for removing HIV/AIDS from the American health care landscape, updated to the year 2020, was lived-streamed to the world via Internet. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy was put in place by the Obama Administration in 2010 to identify goals and action steps needed to address the epidemic domestically. The Strategy […]

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Get Tested Coachella Valley: Midpoint = Success

On January 1, 2014 Get Tested Coachella Valley was officially launched as a three-year effort to dramatically reduce the spread of HIV by testing more adolescents and adults. Eighteen months later, the Get Tested campaign – the nation’s first-ever community-driven, regional testing initiative — is at its midpoint, and already reporting great success. Get Tested Coachella […]

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AIDS diagnosis didn’t limit volunteer; it gave him focus

A lot of ingredients went into making Christopher Christensen, volunteer with Get Tested Coachella Valley, the dedicated and giving man he is today. Chris, 63, is a retired manager from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He was on the team in the 1970s that developed electronic banking systems that made automatic teller machines […]

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A garden of good health grows at Desert AIDS Project

The mind, body, and spirit seem to work in harmony when people are gardening, says Janine Bell, Addictions Specialist at Desert AIDS Project. There’s something about shoving your hands in the dirt to plant something and then nurturing it until it blooms that seems to put the soul at ease. That’s the premise that Janine […]

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Long-term survivors can be pretty tough cookies

Tom Coleman, 78, and Darlene McBrayer, 82, have lived full lives with no regrets. Not that there hasn’t been plenty to fret about. Both clients of Desert AIDS Project were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the 1990s and have experienced decades of illness, loss and dramatic change. “I lost four inches,” a tiny, curled […]

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Stress relief through Transcendental Meditation

It was at about the 12-mile mark of David Brinkman’s daily 17-mile run when the stress began to dissipate and the clarity necessary to run a “Top 20 HIV/AIDS Charity” like D.A.P. began to return. But when a severe back injury put an end to the “extreme exercise” that supplied the dose of endorphins necessary […]

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Comfy chair, deep breathing, positive thoughts … and s-t-r-e-t-c-h

That summarizes the mantra Jason Lushia uses when he leads Chair Yoga for clients of D.A.P.’s Client Wellness Services Center at noon on Mondays and Wednesdays. The classes are yet another non-invasive way for clients to reach toward wellness and maintain it, according to Ray Robertson, manager of the Center. At a recent session, clients […]

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Home Care helps client lead a more normal life

When Dennis Golay and his partner, Larry Gibson, tested positive for HIV infection in 1988, in the days before antiretroviral drugs, it seemed like a death sentence. Dennis is now in his late 60’s, feeling blessed, and that “life is really good,” thanks in no small part to D.A.P. Dennis’ later years had already been […]

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Getting closer to a World without AIDS

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, told us that “the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.” Let’s keep that in mind as we celebrate World Health Day, April 7. Ten years, and say 500 miles, ago death from AIDS peaked at 3.1 million lives worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That number has […]

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Medical leaders at D.A.P. have to be people who know…

… not just how to treat HIV and AIDS but how the virus and the disease live in our society. And how they change people’s lives. By the time they joined us in 2013, Dr. Steven Scheibel and Dr. David Hersh were already “medical leaders in the know.” No wonder the HIV specialist and the […]

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Connecting to women with HIV and AIDS

Desert AIDS Project has some amazing events planned for women and girls this month. Tuesday, March 10, is National Women and Girls HIV and AIDS Awareness Day. The day will be marked with a presentation by AIDS activist and author Paige Rawl. Paige was a born with HIV and kept it secret until middle school […]

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C’est si bon

Walk into the west entrance of Desert AIDS Project and you’ll ask yourself three questions: “Where did all this unique and amazing art come from? Why is it here?” And, “Is that Eartha Kitt?” Yes, it’s Eartha, the internationally famed actress, singer, and cabaret star, who played Catwoman, sexy scourge of television’s Batman of the […]

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A good meal can put a smile on your face!

Any Registered Dietitian (R.D.) who has worked with someone living with HIV or AIDS knows that “food is medicine” and that certain foods can be very important in strengthening the immune system. That’s why D.A.P. is always working to help our clients make healthy food choices  through our food voucher program, our Farmers Market, and […]

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Testing + Treatment = Prevention

The prevalence of HIV in the Coachella Valley is more than twice the national rate – putting everyone in our local communities at greater risk. But while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended, since 2006, that all American adolescents and adults get tested for HIV, more than half of Coachella Valley […]

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Board Members say, “IT’S PERSONAL!”

As National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day approached on Saturday, February 7, we spoke with two locally-prominent African-American women to learn a bit more about why they choose to serve as board members for Desert AIDS Project. Carolyn Caldwell is President and CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center (DRMC) and was recently honored by the City […]

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Pathways to greater HIV awareness for youth and others

The 10-12 member teams of AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps,) ages 18 to 24, are usually serving local communities in five service areas: urban and rural development, disaster relief, environmental stewardship, infrastructure improvement, and energy conservation. But on World AIDS Day, the “Green 4, Class 21” team was at the Pathways to Health and Well-Being […]

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Building self-esteem while building more secure futures

Life was dark and getting darker for Jeffrey Hauling and his life partner Craig Aabye. Both are HIV positive, as well as clients of Desert AIDS Project. Craig, 49, was getting trampled by the virus, leaving him with a T-cell count of only 198, while Jeff, 50, had been hit hard by the recession, leaving […]

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Getting to Zero

World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the time of year when giving is top of mind. This year, think about “Getting to Zero,” the theme of World AIDS Day 2014, and giving your time and effort to the cause. You’ll be joining people all over the world who know that […]

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D.A.P. Wunderkind to Lead the Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade

Desert AIDS Project’s Alexis Ortega was been chosen to be a Community Grand Marshal in the 2014 Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade held during Pride weekend Nov. 7 through Nov. 9. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. Nov. 9, at Tachevah and Palm Canyon drives. The Pride Parade is just one part of the […]

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Medical Case Managers celebrate serving others

When our ads, featuring client testimonials, claim “This and more… all under one roof,” they are referring to the dozen-plus programs and services we offer. Perhaps the most crucial part of tying together all the essential parts of compassionate, comprehensive care offered at Desert AIDS Project is Medical Case Management. “We coordinate medical care with […]

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‘…They treat me like family’

When Teretha Whitmer recalls her first visit to Desert AIDS Project, her words are simple and heartfelt: “They saved my life,” she says. “They’ve been saving my life ever since.” Teri, 59, of Palm Springs, was in crisis when she arrived at D.A.P. in 2005. Her home was unsafe. She was grieving the loss of […]

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The Zen Room: A ‘cool and peaceful’ place to heal

The lighting is dim in the large room painted a warm, pale green. Likewise, the voice of yoga instructor Tricia White is soft and soothing. “As you exhale, release your hands down to heart center,” she almost whispers to about 20 students, who wordlessly comply. “Lift up and over for reverse warrior,” she continues. The […]

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Cat City Revivals Redux

Over the years, the Revivals stores have certainly evolved … from a single corner of the office when D.A.P. was on Vella Road, to four stores today, in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and San Diego. The Cathedral City store alone has had a variety of incarnations and addresses, going from “shabby chic” on […]

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Free, confidential testing at Mecca health fair mark Latino HIV/AIDS awareness day

It’s estimated that 1-in-50 Latinos will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, Latinos made up about 16 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 21 percent of new HIV infections nationally – a rate three times that of whites. With more than […]

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Coffee House Showcase a smashing success

The Coffee House Showcase recently opened with bag pipes, ballads, mosaics, burgers and a choir that seemed to come straight out of “Animal Farm.” A total of 136 clients and quite a few staff members attended the show’s premiere making it a rousing success beyond anything its organizers imagined. “Wow,” beamed Ray Robertson, Desert AIDS […]

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“Sisters are doin’ it for themselves”

That’s not just a song by HIV activist Annie Lennox. It’s what’s happening at D.A.P. through the Women’s Empowerment Group, facilitated by Janine Bell, Substance Abuse Specialist. “It’s not as easy for a lot of women to ‘come out’ as living with HIV, like gay men do,” says Janine. “Women still tend to be the […]

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D.A.P. aims to find answers, improve quality-of-life, with new research projects

Aging with HIV was once an impossible dream. When the epidemic first appeared in 1981, those becoming ill most often heard doom-and-gloom prognoses. Many were told to “get their affairs” in order because they couldn’t be expected to live long. Most doctors in those days were as confused by this new disease as their frightened […]

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Volunteer connects D.A.P. clients with services for 12 years

Nick Procaccino was an academic and theater director living in Princeton, N.J., when the AIDS crisis hit in the 1980s. “I thought it affected other gay men, those living on the fringe, until my partner was diagnosed,” Nick says. His partner of 23 years, Michael Schnessel, passed away in 1992. “At that time, there was […]

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Five brand new ways our clients can improve their health online

This summer, Desert AIDS Project is rolling out a new secure online patient portal for clients and patients. Months in the making, the number one goal of the portal is to provide a useful online tool for our clients, as part of new Affordable Care Act requirements. To reach this goal, our new Health Information […]

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Primary care at D.A.P. often means treating cancer as well

HIV patients diagnosed with cancer are two to four times more likely to have their cancer go untreated than patients without the virus, a recent study says. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute, who conducted the study, believe doctors treat cancer in HIV patients less aggressively because they’re […]

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The volunteer “Angel” among us

Meet Margie Lobley. Margie, 70, has been a Desert AIDS Project volunteer for 17 years. D.A.P. staffers dropped by to congratulate Margie when she was granted Angel status by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., an international non-profit organization of gay men who promote joy, forgive guilt from stigmas and labels and honor community service. […]

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Supplementing health care with non-traditional therapies

For Ray Robertson, Community Center Manager for Desert AIDS Project, it’s all about tapping into the body’s ability to care for itself by using all programs available to aid that process. Ray coordinates many activities D.A.P. sponsors, outside traditional medicine, that promote health and well-being. Along with cooking classes and emotional support groups, Ray assembled […]

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DAPCAN editors spread the news … maybe even helping to stop a local meningitis outbreak

DAPCAN … short-hand for Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter … is a weekly, electronic news digest for more than 1530 D.A.P. clients, donors, volunteers, and other supporters who want to stay up-to-date on “all things HIV” whether here at D.A.P. or around the world. Just three of the stories in a single recent issue […]

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Get Tested Coachella Valley gets hot at Palm Springs’ coolest parties

The Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign kicked into high-gear when it recently moved into Palm Springs’ international gay party scene. The Get Tested team both educated about and tested for HIV without disturbing the fun at both the world-famous, 25-year-old White Party and the lesser-known, but very popular, Blatino Oasis. “Party promoters, in the past, […]

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Fighting HIV stigma, one testimonial at a time

A new advertising campaign encourages Coachella Valley residents living with HIV or AIDS to take charge of their challenges and get on the path to a stronger and happier life, with help from Desert AIDS Project. The campaign, called the Client Empowerment Ad Series, features proud clients – showing their faces and using their names […]

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A prescription for health: treating the entire person

It’s 1986. You are 19 … or 23 … maybe 30, and you’re told to get your affairs in order because you’ve only got a few months to live. Friends and loved ones are dying all around you. Memorial services are a weekly event. The obituary pages stretch on and on. You are scared to […]

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Housing is an essential therapy for people living with HIV

“From the time they come in and say ‘I’m homeless,’ to the time they say, ‘I got the apartment!’ it’s so great,” beams Nichelle Austin, Housing Case Manager for Desert AIDS Project. “You see them a month later and they look so different because they’re able to say ‘I’ve got a house. I can sleep […]

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AIDS 2.0? Aging with HIV

By Steve Bolerjack “At his age, it’s no surprise he had a bout of something AIDS-related, but if the new meds work, he should be okay.” This improbable but increasingly common remark is certainly not the way we used to put things during 30 years of plague. At the worst of it, you either had […]

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Summer Progress Report: Beginning our 30th Year

You may know that Desert AIDS Project produces a progress report every quarter to keep our supporters like you informed about recent news and updates going on within the agency – and there is A LOT going on. In this issue, we share some results from our recent patient satisfaction survey, expand on our Dental […]

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