Desert AIDS Project
Patient Login (760) 323-2118

Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter

In This Issue

Tony retiring from Walgreens

March 25, from 1:00-3:00, there will be a party celebrating Tony's service to the community through the D.A.P. branch of Walgreens pharmacy. Held in the DHD room of the Client Wellness Services Center. Come reminisce and enjoy cake!

Construction finished!

Come in and check out the new floor plan- it provides greater privacy for clients and increased working space so staff can do their jobs with greater comfort and efficiency.  

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Client Wellness Services Center presents: HIV and Medication Updates
Tuesday, March 3, Noon - 1:00 PM

Dr. Alex Ponce will discuss medication updates. Lunch starts at 11:45 am. Registered DAP clients only. ASL interpretation upon request, contact Ray at least 48 hours in advance. Sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc. RSVP to Ray Robertson @ (760) 992-0471 ext. 471 or email 

Client Wellness Services Center presents: Treatment Update luncheon
Friday, March 6, Noon - 1:00 PM

Joseph Leahy will discuss treatment updates and changes. Lunch starts at 11:45 am. Registered DAP clients only. ASL interpretation upon request, contact Ray at least 48 hours in advance. Sponsored by Janssen Therapeutics. RSVP to Ray Robertson @ (760) 992-0471 ext. 471 or email 

Movie & Pizza! February 26: Tea with Mussolini
Every Thursday, 1:00 PM

Tea with Mussolini (1999) 117 minutes.

Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, and Lily Tomlin. A young Italian boy is raised by a group of expatriate women, dubbed the Scorpioni by locals. Guess why. A coming of age tale, and a haunting evocation of Florence on the brink of WWII.

Client Wellness Services Center: Smoking Cessation Classes!
Tuesday, March 10th & Friday, March 13th, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

If you are truly ready to give up your nicotine addiction, this may be the help, direction, and support you have been looking for! There are no scare tactics, patches, or medication involved. Just safe and healthy techniques and positive support as you finally leave behind this expensive and unhealthy habit! Commit to making your 2015 smoke free and healthy! Facilitated by Ray Robertson, Certified Chemical Dependency Specialist. Call Ray to sign up, ask questions, or just show up at the first session. (760) 992-0471 ext. 471. Classes continue every Tuesday and Friday for four 

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CROI happening this week in Seattle

The 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections brings together researchers and clinicians to share the latest HIV science from around the world. A link to "key abstracts" for papers presented is here. 

ANRS Ipergay Trial


France's national agency for AIDS research has announced results guaranteed to excite the anti-PrEP league of ignoramuses crusaders. From the abstract: "Daily PrEP... can reduce the risk of HIV infection ... but long term adherence to a daily regimen remains challenging and explains the discordant results reported across trials. We wished to assess the efficacy of 'on demand' PrEP in high risk MSM." The short-- it works, with an 86% reduction in HIV seroconversions. The abstract.

Over 90% of new HIV infections result from people not receiving care

This seems to confirm old news: Statistically, other than mutually closed relationship groups or celibacy, your safest play partner is HIV+ and on meds achieving viral suppression. Nearly 20% of infected people do not know that they are, and they are  per-capita responsible for the most seroconversions. The next most likely to pass on virus are people who know they are poz but are not in treatment. JAMA abstract here, CDC announcement here

PrEP and sexual responsibility

Kaiser SF has reported 2 transmissions of HCV to people on HIV PrEP. A minority of people who use PrEP decide to quit other safer sex practices, and 2 of them in San Francisco have contracted HCV. In case you didn't get the memo, Hepatitis C is now understood to be sexually transmissible. link

If you think you're uncomfortable talking about HIV status, try talking about HCV with potential sex partners. Most folks' eyes will glaze so fast they can hardly hit "not a match" but it sure would be good for the health of our community if we could have those conversations. And they'd get easier if more people had them. We need to make this ordinary talk. Shame holds us back. C'mon folks, sex is the norm- we all got here because of it, and most of us have tried it and liked it. We're grownups, there are risks. Be proud: talk. 

Isentress? No antacids.

New labeling recommends against use of aluminum or magnesium containing antacids with Isentress. FDA announcement 


Kidney Transplants: from HIV+ to HIV+

Roughly 10 - 20% of HIV+ people in treatment have chronic kidney disease. The successful transplants, from deceased HIV+ donors, to HIV+ recipients on meds but with with end-stage kidney disease, established that drug interactions between anti-HIV and immunosuppressive drugs can be managed, and suggests there is not a risk of HIV superinfection. This allows use of a formerly unavailable source of kidneys. Read more.

Low CD4 count significant risk factor for oral HPV transmission

A low CD4 count was found to be the single most significant factor for human papilloma virus (HPV) infection among HIV+ patients. Risk of HPV infection increased four-fold for CD4<200 compared to CD4>500. More

Help shape a healthier future for Riverside County

The Riverside County Department of Public Health has announced its SHAPE Initiative – Strategic Health Alliance Pursuing Equity – and they want your input. The SHAPE Initiative is a County-wide community health assessment and improvement planning process to learn more about the communities of Riverside County. The SHAPE Initiative has two ways for you to participate in making your voice heard – do one or both! Complete an online community health survey available here: SHAPE Initiate Survey or attend a community forum listed here.

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Celibacy Challenge

GLAAD and GMHC have produced a video satire hoping to bring attention and responsible change to the FDA policy for blood donations. Click here to watch the video and here to add your name to their petition. 

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"Poz Cruise"

Timothy Brown, aka the Berlin Patient, will be joining a cruise November 8-11. Click herefor the advertising, and here for a blog post highlighting the cruise.

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Keep track of healthcare reform changes

If you are on Medicare, it's important to keep track of ongoing changes in coverage and payment options.  Most importantly, the "donut hole" of Medicare Part D drug plan co-pays begins to close this year (see below).  Regardless of your current insurance situation, click here for a government website that provides some guidance regarding Medicare, Medicaid and other possible insurance options (albeit limited) for those living with disabilities and/or chronic health issues (pay particular attention to the Medicare and Timeline tabs).  And click here for an even more detailed summary.  (sb) 

ADAP may pay Medicare Part D premium

ADAP-eligible clients who have to purchase Part D prescription drug coverage may qualify to have their Part D premium paid by the State of California. Follow this link to the Part D Premium Payment Program Application. You can also call the State of California at 916.449.5900 for more information.  (jl) 

Help with Medicare

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.  This includes information about original Medicare, Medicare Health Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Supplemental policies and Long-term Care Insurance.  The California Department of Aging (CDA) is responsible for statewide administration of SHIP, which is delivered through the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).  HICAP services can be accessed via a toll-free line at 800.434.0222.  The local HICAP counselor is located at the Mizell Center in Palm Springs and can be reached at 760.323.5689.  Follow this link for more information. 

Help paying for prescription medications

Among the resources available to HIV-positive people to help pay for prescription medications is NeedyMeds. The mission of NeedyMeds is to make information about assistance programs available to low-income patients and their advocates at no cost.  Go  to, look up the  medications you need and you'll be directed to the patient assistance program website for that manufacturer.  The site  also offers a free drug discount card that is accepted at more than 62,000 pharmacies.  If you are having trouble paying for your medications this site is worth a look!  (jl) (sb) 

Help paying for private health insurance premiums

If you or someone you are close to is HIV positive and paying for private health insurance, there may be help in paying premiums. The California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS (OA) administers the Health Insurance Premium Payment (OA-HIPP) Program.  OA has expanded OA-HIPP to make this program available to more individuals with health insurance who are at risk of losing it, and to individuals currently without health insurance who would like to purchase it.  You do NOT need to be a D.A.P. client to access OA-HIPP.  Follow this link to see if you qualify, and also check out the above links in the Healthcare reforms article. (jl) (sb)  

Quest Diagnostics website

Riverside County Healthcare (RCHC) Lab services are provided at both Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC) in Moreno Valley and Quest Diagnostics.  All former LabCorps patients are now served at Quest.  Click here or above for the Quest website: locations, hours and to make an appointment. 

Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) & AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

For those who qualify, medical care and help paying for your medications are available through the MISP and ADAP programs.* Find out if you qualify: schedule an appointment by calling the numbers below. You can schedule your MISP and ADAP appointments together for Moreno Valley office ONLY. Call no sooner than four weeks before your ADAP qualifying expiration date (usually around your birthday). If you qualify for ADAP only, the local ADAP office is right across the driveway, south of D.A.P., at the Palm Springs Family Care Center. Specify the Palm Springs office when you call. Here are the numbers:

877.501.5085 - toll free
951.486.5375 - English
951.486.5400 - Spanish
951.486.4635 - fax

*NOTICE: Faxed MISP applications can get lost in the process. Many people who have faxed their application have had to re-apply later. It's best to apply in person in Moreno Valley, and get a "receipt of application", and use that as proof that you applied to avoid uninterrupted services with your D.A.P. medical doctor visits.

D.A.P. contact information

The Desert AIDS Project local phone number is 760.323.2118. The toll-free phone number is 866.331.3344 and the website is

DAPCAN back issues always available online

Need another look at something you read in DAPCAN? Find past issues online by clicking this link. As always, you can also read the most current edition of DAPCAN on the D.A.P. website at

D.A.P. holiday closings for 2014

January 20 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 17 — Presidents' Day
March 31 — Cesar Chavez Day
May 26 — Memorial Day
July 4 — Independence Day
September 1 — Labor Day
October 13 — Columbus Day
November 27-28 — Thanksgiving
December 25-26 — Christmas

Call 211 for essential human services in Riverside County

2-1-1 is a toll-free service for residents looking for information about essential human services such as affordable housing, food pantries, help for an aging parent, free or low cost health services, addiction prevention programs, employment, support groups, volunteer opportunities, and 1,700 additional services! (jl)

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Your annual ADAP/MISP appointment

For those who meet income eligibility requirements, medical care and help paying for medications may be available through state MISP and ADAP programs. To qualify: call the numbers below and schedule an appointment. (You can schedule your MISP and ADAP appointments together for Moreno Valley office ONLY.) Call no sooner than four weeks before your ADAP qualifying expiration date (usually around your birthday). If you qualify for ADAP only, the local ADAP office across the driveway, south of D.A.P., at the Palm Springs Family Care Center. Specify the Palm Springs office when you call and make sure you have all documents required! Delays can cause lapses in drug coverage.

877.501.5085 - toll free 951.486.5375 - English
951.486.5400 - Spanish/espanol 951.486.4635 - fax

Unfortunately, it's sometimes difficult to get through to make appointments by phone. We were recently notified that there is now an individual at Window 2 next door at the Palm Springs Family Care Center that can schedule appointments and process demographics changes. If it is more convenient, you can walk next door to schedule your MISP/ADAP appointment in person. (jl)

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Let guide you to information you need

Are you looking for information about how much work you need to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, or how to apply for benefits? Are you searching for an affordable place to live, or want to find ways to make your home accessible? Do you need help finding a job, or want to learn how working might affect your Social Security disability payments? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then check out these guides on's guides answer many of the most frequently asked questions about eligibility for disability benefits, locating job training services, as well as housing assistance programs for individuals with disabilities. In addition,’s Guide to Getting Help in Your Community has information about programs and organizations near you that provide other services and supports, including health care, temporary financial assistance for families, and help paying home heating bills. (jl)

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Get Social Security forms online

A reminder that starting in February, form requests for proofs of income and Social Security numbers will not be available at local Social Security offices as in the past. Now you must go online for those documents at or call 800.772.1213. Remember that the forms can be printed out immediately but phone requests will take approximately seven days to receive by mail. You need these forms not only for Social Security, but also to apply at D.A.P., for ADAP and MediCAL, most updates and other insurance and eligibility requirements. If you have no computer, you may use the computer lab at D.A.P. and print your forms there. (sb)

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New Fact Sheets available to help with ACA questions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a series of easy-to-understand consumer fact sheets for those who are enrolling or have newly enrolled in healthcare plans through the ACA marketplace. A list of topics, with links to the fact sheets, is available here. (ej)

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Contact your elected officials

DAPCAN encourages readers to contact elected officials on important issues. Make your voice heard by contacting our state and federal officials!

Find current list of officials here