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

Community Health Educator Spotlight: Por …

Part of why I am so excited about being a Community Health Educator for Desert AIDS Project is that I get to be involved in helping spread the right kind of information to keep people healthy. I have a lifetime of personal experience in dealing with this pandemic. I am a strong advocate for the cause, and HIV has had a huge impact on my life.

I believe the key to getting to an AIDS-free generation is an education! Not only is knowledge the key, but along with giving out facts and statistics, we must also include our personal and individual stories. It is through our stories that we can make sense of all the information, and that we can UNDERSTAND and connect it to our real-life experiences.

My mother died from AIDS-related illnesses February 21, 2004, and I was born HIV positive in 1986. I am from San Bernardino, California, and there were no HIV medical specialists in my area back then. I had to be sent all the way to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. My provider’s name was Dr. Church, which I’ve always found ironic.

At the time, there were no treatments for HIV. The doctors said I would not live to be five-years-old. However, I just turned 31 December 5. Clearly, God had other plans for me.

My aunt and uncle took legal guardianship of me when I was two months old and made sure I got the care that I needed. Without them, I do not think that I would have been able to survive past my initial life expectancy. I would not have been taken care of very well at home, and definitely would not have made it to the millions of doctor appointments that I had to go to as a child.

I know that this dynamic occurs in a lot of black families as well. Grandmothers have to step up and take care of their grandchildren, or siblings have to step up to the plate and take care of their nieces and nephews due to drugs or incarceration. Fortunately for me, my family never treated me any different. I would not be as strong and independent as I am today if it was not for my family who loved me through my illness, regardless of the stigma.

I feel it is important that I include my stories when I give out facts and statistics, as an African American. Black experiences are often misrepresented in American society. It is through our personal stories that we learn the truth! Stories have the power to create social change and inspire a community.

That is precisely what I hope to accomplish at D.A.P. By sharing my own story about AIDS, along with the inspiration I get by working with the community, it is my wish that you will hear a message of hope.

Carson Kressley to Host 2018 Steve Chase …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-84012018

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Carson Kressley will be new host

Emmy-Award winning TV personality, style expert, fashion designer and New York Times best-selling author Carson Kressley will replace Ross Mathews as host of the 24th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. It was announced this week that Mathews will be sequestered in the Big Brother Celebrity House as he competes in the reality show that begins airing on February 7 on CBS. Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) CEO, David Brinkman shared the organizations support for Mathews. “We, along with all of his Palm Springs friends, will be cheering for Ross as he competes on Celebrity Big Brother and we look forward to having him return to host the 25th Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 2019”.

The addition of Kressley compliments an every growing list of style personalities and experts who will greet attendees when they arrive on the red carpet. Palm Springs Life fashion editor Susan Stein will be joined by celebrity fashion stylist Salvador Camarena, fashion designer Franck Ford, “Best in Drag Show” winner Ethylina Canne, Palm Springs Social’s Rob Grace, and KESQ’s Bianca Rae as they report on the Red Carpet Fashion Experience. KMIR News will be at the top of the main red carpet as guests arrive.

Now in its 24th year, the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala has raised millions of dollars to care for people living with HIV.  First organized by and named for famed interior designer Steve Chase – a former D.A.P. donor, volunteer, and board member – the gala is a highlight of the desert social season and pre-ceded the night prior by an exclusive VIP pre-party honoring major donors and celebrity guests.

The awards kick off at 7:00 PM and will feature En Vogue as headline entertainment and Thelma Houston at the after-party. 

Click here to reserve your place at the party for the 24th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards or call 760-992-0445

This year’s awards will shine a bright spotlight on local community members who have dedicated their time, talent and energy to ensuring D.A.P. is able to provide compassionate care to those who need it most. We are excited to announce Tony Marchese, owner of Trio Restaurant, will receive the Partners for Life Award, and Dr. Shubha Kerkar, MD, HIVMA, MACP, AAHIVS, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist, will be recognized with the 100 Women Award.

Kressley started his career as an independent stylist and became invaluable to major designers like Ralph Lauren. A few years later, he took a leap into television when, in 2003, he became a breakout star as the fashion savant on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, which won a primetime Emmy.

He revolutionized America’s personal fashion sense of style as he filmed OWN Network’s “Carson-Nation”. Kressley travelled to small towns throughout the U.S. transforming lives – one person at a time- with his signature style, humor and heart. He also hosted multiple TV shows including Lifetime’s “How to Look Good Naked”, ABC’s “True Beauty” and competed on several reality competition shows such as the 13th season of “Dancing With The Stars” where he was a fan favorite.

Kressley is a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit, including You’re Different and That’s Super and Off The Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and The Women Who Love Them. His latest book, a women’s style guide Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big? A Cheeky Guide to Feeling Sexier in Your Own Skin & Unleashing Your Personal Style was released on October 11, 2016 [St. Martin’s Press] to rave reviews.

A strong supporter of many philanthropic causes, Kressley uses his celebrity to advance different concerns such as The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, AIDS WALK, and the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation. Kressley is also a trustee on the board of the True Colors Fund, The American Saddlebred Museum and Philadelphia University.

2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold MatznerWalgreens

MAJOR: Desert Regional Medical CenterEisenhower Medical CenterGrace Helen Spearman FoundationReaction MarketingThe Desert SunWells Fargo Foundation

STAR: Annette Bloch, Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, KMIRRenova Energy

SUPPORTING: Mark Adams, AFR Furniture RentalsBlackbookBrush Palm SpringsChill Bar, Desert Oasis Healthcare, El Paseo Jewelers, Hydro Studios, Friends of John Rock, ITEX of the Desert EmpirePatrick JordanKaiser Permanente, Barbara & Jerry Keller, Laura Kibby, Dorothy and Melvyn Lefkowitz, Macy’sRenaissance Hotel, Savoury’s, Gregory E. Seller, Bruce Strohm, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Wade Endowment – Steven Anders, Trustee, Watkins Construction, Wells Fargo

BENEFACTOR: 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Barkingham Palace, Karen & Tony Barone, DiageoGilead, HBA, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, Frank Kurland, Laboratory Corporation of AmericaLoan DepotCounty Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Signs by TomorrowSpectrum, Bruce & Ann Strohm, Sysco-Riverside, TheBank Palm Springs, Union Bank of California Foundation

MEDIA: CV IndependentGay Desert Guide, LOCALE Magazine,  Palm Springs LifeThe StandardHere Media, The Hollywood Times

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

Reflecting on the legacy of Dr. Martin L …

Annually black Americans pause in February to reflect upon our shared cultural heritage as African-Americans. In large part, our reflections turn to the Civil Rights struggles in the 1960s, spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., among others. Sadly, for a growing sub-segment of the black (as well as Latinx) population in America, not only do we continue to battle against social-economic forces: poverty, unemployment, prejudice and an unbalanced justice system; we must face the reality that in minority communities, HIV is not on the decline like it is in the majority population.

Young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in minority communities are at the highest risk for HIV in the USA! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if current rates persist, half of all black; and a quarter of all Latino gay and bisexual men could be infected with HIV in their lifetimes.

On the one hand, Innovations in pharmaceutical science have given society the opportunity to “end the AIDS epidemic.” Be it daily medication, “meds” for people who are HIV-positive, which when taken on a daily basic effectively eliminate the potential of infecting another person and consequently ending the epidemic. Conjointly, on the other hand, HIV-negative individuals may avail themselves with Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill which practically eliminates seroconversion.

So where’s the problem you may ask? The answer is inexplicable. While the HIV infection rates continue to decrease for the majority population in the USA, the minority population continues to see increased HIV infections. Is this due to the stigma of men having sex with men in minority populations? Is it the lack of medical resources, and financial barriers to healthcare in minority populations? Or is it just ignorance of the medical advances available. Perhaps, the answer is a combination of all of the aforementioned.

What is certain is that behaviors have to change – both for the individual and society. Here in California, legislative leaders have finally shifted HIV focus to minority populations in an effort to increase awareness, testing and treatment.

The question becomes, what can we do to decrease the spread of HIV in minority populations?

  • • Increase public awareness of the disease in targeted minority populations and reduce the stigma. Black and Latino Americans have accepted the fact that they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes; let’s treat HIV like any other “manageable disease.”
  • • In order to treat HIV, folks have to get tested. The State of California is increasing funding for HIV testing and many non-profit health care centers like Desert AIDS Project are going to community festivals with mobile testing; to wit, Black History Month Festival, Blatino Oasis, Taste of Jalisco Festival, to name just a few.
  • • If someone is diagnosed, they must immediately be linked to care. Both Federal and State funds are available to cover ALL expenses for people who live below the poverty level so cost is not an issue.
  • • Folks need to stay in care and on their medication. Once in care and property taking medication an HIV-positive person becomes un-infectious and will not transmit the HIV virus.

This is an attainable plan. What is missing is the public outcry and demand for social services to address not only the stigma attached to “gay sex,” but to address health care for ALL Americans. To borrow the words from Dr. King:

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.”

Carl Baker is Directory of Legal and Legislative Affairs for Desert AIDS Project. He is passionate about USC Trojans football and is an avid swimmer.

2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Hon …

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

PALM SPRINGS, CA (January 19, 2018) – This year’s awards will shine a bright spotlight on local community members who’ve dedicated their time, talent and energy to ensuring Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is able to provide compassionate care to those who need it most. We are excited to announce Tony Marchese, owner of Trio Restaurant, will receive the Partners for Life Award, and Dr. Shubha Kerkar, Sr. Physician Specialist, will be recognized with the 100 Women Award.

Click here to reserve your place at the party for the 24th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards or call 760-992-0445.

Now in its 24th year, the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala has raised millions of dollars to care for people living with HIV.  First organized by and named for famed interior designer Steve Chase – a former D.A.P. donor, volunteer, and board member – the gala is a highlight of the desert social season and preceded the night prior by an exclusive VIP pre-party honoring major donors and celebrity guests.

Tony Marchese is the co-producer, with Palm Springs Life Magazine, of the Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival, a weekend-long event with over 4000 guests and growing. He also serves on the boards of Palm Springs Hospitality Association, and AAP Food Samaritans. He has supported Desert AIDS Project for many years by competing in Dancing with the Desert Stars, raising funds for Desert AIDS Walk as ‘Team Trio’, and participating in the annual Dining Out for Life Event.  More than sixty restaurants participated in Dining Out for Life Coachella Valley in 2017, raising $230,000 for client services at D.A.P. Because of the generosity of participating restaurant owners and diners, D.A.P.ranks third in overall fundraising as compared to 52 other participating U.S. cities. Trio Restaurant is consistently in the top three of local fundraising restaurants donating 60% of revenue that day to Desert AIDS Project.

Tony’s early career was in Chicago where he was both a successful restauranteur and real estate professional. He won awards for both Top 20 Best New Restaurants in Chicago Magazine for his upscale Brazilian Restaurant, Rhumba, and top sales awards for 15 years for his Keller Williams Office.

At age 40, Tony decided to leave the cold and move to Palm Springs. He continued in real estate but realized that people come to Palm Springs for the experience, and his true passion was reborn in the restaurant business. He opened Trio restaurant, “Where Palm Springs Eats,” with Mark Van Lannen in 2009.  Mark decided to take a business turn toward a fine foods market and left Trio in 2017. TRIO has garnered recognition as one of Palm Springs’ top restaurants and hot spots by numerous lifestyle and travel publications and websites. Shortly after their grand opening, TRIO was named one of Palm Springs Best New Restaurants by Palm Springs Life Magazine in 2010. TRIO is also listed among TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Percent of Restaurants Worldwide, Open Table’s Top 100 Hot Spots in America, 2017 Expert Choice Award and is Zagat Rated as Very Good to Excellent. Since then Tony has also expanded his business opportunities into Liquid Catering- a full-service beverage and event catering business.

Tony is very excited about what’s coming next for him; he is partnering with Chef Andrew Copley and Juliana Copley of Copley’s restaurant to create a new restaurant experience in Palm Desert, CA, called AC3 Restaurant + Bar, New American food with a twist. Opening January 2018.

Dr. Shubha Kerkar has been making the lives of D.A.P. clients better for 25 years. She moved to Palm Springs in 1990 after completing her medical degree in Philadelphia, specializing in internal medicine at Episcopal Hospital, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at Hahnemann University Hospital. She started her career as an infectious diseases consultant and served as Director of Infection Control at Desert Regional Medical Center (DRMC). Soon after, she began volunteering at D.A.P., at the time only a small clinic on Vella Road near the airport. In 1993, she joined D.A.P. as a part-time infectious disease consultant. In 2008, she became one of the founding members of the 100 Women Charitable Foundation, which provides assistance to women and children with HIV/AIDS.

In her early career at D.A.P., when AIDS was a death sentence, she worked toward setting up an HIV/ AIDS Health Center at DRMC, to care for D.A.P. clients who needed hospitalization and hospice care. With modern medicine, her practice has evolved into skilled management for many of these clients, allowing them to lead healthy, productive lives. She is also involved with research into newer medicines; those able to cure infections such as Hepatitis C.

Dr. Kerkar is Board Certified in Infectious Diseases and for 12 years has maintained certification and credentialing by the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVS). She has been nominated as the Top Doctor in Infectious Diseases by Castle Connelly Survey every year since 2005 and has received multiple Palm Springs Life Top Doctor Awards in the Specialty of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Kerkar is on active staff at Desert Regional Medical Center and Eisenhower Medical Center.

Co-chairs Patrick Jordan and Lauri Kibby will join Senator Barbara Boxer on February 10 when they welcome more than 1,500 D.A.P. supporters at the 2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards benefitting Desert AIDS Project. The party begins with red carpet arrivals LIVE on KMIR and KESQ at the Palm Springs Convention Center at 5:30 pm. A new red carpet fashion experience will feature Palm Springs Fashion Editor, Susan Stein, Ethylina Canne, and Salvador Camarena. The awards kick off at 7:00 PM and will feature En Vogue as headline entertainment and Thelma Houston at the after-party.

Powerful momentum is now building towards a new narrative on HIV treatment and a new, final, ambitious, but achievable target: 90-90-90: Treatment for All

By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
People can carry the HIV virus for years and not know it.  The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.  Your support enables D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley program to provide free and confidential HIV testing at hundreds of community events and dozens of test sites – from health fairs and food banks to Walgreens and D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK.

By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
Thanks to attendance at the Steve Chase and other fundraising events, Desert AIDS Project ensures that newly-diagnosed HIV positive patients receive the medications they need to survive and thrive, and regular follow-ups to safeguard their well-being.  D.A.P.’s Patient Assistance Program secures critical HIV and other medications at reduced cost.

By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
To suppress the virus to an undetectable level, an individual must start on medication as early as possible and stay on it for a lifetime. This can be challenging when facing other serious challenges.  That’s the driving force behind D.A.P. Total Care – the comprehensive combination of health and wellness services which are uniquely tailored to each individual – including medical, dental, mental health, social services, support groups, substance abuse counseling, and much more – all conveniently provided under one roof at D.A.P.’s Palm Springs location.

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2018 Schedule of Events February 10, 2018

5:30 PM
Red Carpet Arrivals
Cocktails
Silent Auction

 

 

7:00 PM
Dinner
Awards
Entertainment
En Vogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:30 PM
After Party featuring Thelma Houston

 

 

 

 

2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold MatznerWalgreens

MAJOR: Desert Regional Medical CenterEisenhower Medical CenterGrace Helen Spearman FoundationReaction MarketingThe Desert SunWells Fargo Foundation

STAR: Annette Bloch, Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, KMIRRenova Energy

SUPPORTING: Mark Adams, AFR Furniture Rentals, Black Book, Brush Palm Springs, Chill Bar, Desert Oasis Healthcare, Wade & Henry Bull Foundation, ITEX of the Desert EmpirePatrick Jordan, Lauri Kibby, Kaiser Permanente, Barbara & Jerry Keller, LyftRenaissance Hotel, Savoury’s, Gregory E. Seller, Bruce Strohm, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine

BENEFACTOR: 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Barkingham Palace, Karen & Tony Barone, DiageoGileadKimpton Rowan Palm SpringsLaboratory Corporation of AmericaLoan Depot, County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Spectrum, Bruce & Ann Strohm, Sysco-Riverside, Union Bank of California Foundation

MEDIA: CV IndependentGay Desert GuidePalm Springs LifeThe StandardHere MediaThe Hollywood Times

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

###

Sex Toy Talk, How To Do It Safely at Tou …

If you thought you knew everything about sex toys, you’re in for a surprise. When Joey Valenzuela, co-owner of Not So Innocent adult store presents to the crowd at Toucan’s, it will be about more than latex. He will explore the benefits of role-play for sexual health, as well as the potential for human disconnection due to online porn, and how we can avoid isolation.

“I want people to be OK with sex, with what’s in their mind, and then go have a safe experience.”

To get to that place, however, sometimes it takes self-exploration. “It’s OK to admit you don’t know what you want or like,” he says. “Once you decide what’s realistic in your own mind, we want you to then be safe with what you do.”

While the latest sex toys and supplies will be explored, the underlying theme will be how we humans approach sex. Clay Sales, Mr. Leather Washington 2016 will be onstage to help with the conversation.

Valenzuela is concerned about our digital world and the prevalence of people accessing sex and pornography online, but not for the reasons one might think.

“We have access to sex all the time, but we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with the actors.”

When people attempt to mimic what they see in porn, especially with sex toys or BDSM scenarios, without knowing the proper techniques, they could experience physical injuries.

The actors in videos he says, “They are either educated on what they’re doing, or they’re likely hurting themselves.”

Valenzuela has a lot of experience counseling people on sex toys and BDSM. He and his husband opened up Not So Innocent on North Palm Canyon Drive in 2014

“It’s hard to talk about sex,” says Joey Valenzuela, but he and his husband Bill Freyer encourage people to do so daily at their shop.

Sometimes he feels like a private counselor, and he’s just fine with that.

“There’s times after a long day that we’re so tired after all the conversations, but it’s really rejuvenating.”

Safe-sex dolls campaign depicts real-lif …

By Will Dean, Desert Outlook

They are not the Ken and Barbie of your childhood fantasies – they’re more modern, relevant and, well, real.

On Jan. 1, Desert AIDS Project launched a new safe-sex campaign using dolls to illustrate the lived experiences of Coachella Valley residents. In an effort to help educate adults who are at risk for HIV and promote the use of PrEP as a safe-sex option, billboards and signs featuring the dolls have been strategically placed across the valley.

Read the full Desert Sun article here.

Your 2018 Taxes & Desert AIDS Proje …

The deadline to make your 2017 tax-deductible, year-end contribution to Desert AIDS Project is almost here!  

As we look ahead to 2018, I can’t stress enough just how important compassionate care at Desert AIDS Project is to people living with HIV and in poverty.

In our work to address the health needs of the most vulnerable in our community, including our core focus on those affected by the HIV epidemic, we have believed for some time that the need for services was greater than the statistics illustrated. In November, Riverside County health officials released new data indicating that a staggering 51 percent more people are living with HIV/AIDS in the county than had been previously reported.

At the same time, we have watched many in Washington DC challenge some of the basic healthcare safety nets that ensure care is funded. If these social safety-nets are lost, our clients will seek care at Desert AIDS Project with greater urgency.

Like you, we are following the expected changes in the new tax laws and expect most people to be unable to itemize charitable donations in 2018. We encourage you to look ahead and consider pre-giving to Desert AIDS Project this year. You have until 11:59 PM on December 31 to donate online and take advantage of that deduction on your 2017 taxes.

If you want to make a real impact and ensure your charitable donation is included in this year’s tax deduction, I urge you to make your tax-deductible gift to Desert AIDS Project today.

Your support will provide testing, dental care, HIV specialty care, mental health, employment assistance, suppot groups, and so much more for the 4,200 clients we serve and the 54 new patients who walk through our doors each month.

Please give a generous gift today. While we may be challenged throughout this coming year by legislative decisions made in Washington, D.C., D.A.P. will continue to press forward with the same passion we have had for ending this epidemic. It has fueled our insistence on innovation these past 33 years. We will continue pushing ourselves to look for ways to bolster the health of everyone in our community. D.A.P. does not have time to rest.

Until there’s a cure, and beyond…

David Brinkman, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards En …

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

PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 29, 2017) – Co-chairs  Patrick Jordan and Lauri Kibby will join Senator Barbara Boxer on February 10 when they welcome more than 1,500 D.A.P. supporters at the 2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards benefitting Desert AIDS Project. The party begins with red carpet arrivals at the Palm Springs Convention Center at 5:30pm.

To reserve your place at the party for the 24th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, go to https://stevechasehumanitarianawards2018.eventbrite.com or call (760) 992-0445.

Now in its 24th year, the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala has raised millions of dollars to care for people living with HIV. First organized by and named for famed interior designer Steve Chase – a former D.A.P. donor, volunteer, and board member – the gala is a highlight of the desert social season and preceded the night prior by an exclusive VIP pre-party honoring major donors and celebrity guests.

“Your compassionate support empowers Desert AIDS Project to think globally and act locally,” said David Brinkman, CEO.  “By joining us at the Steve Chase, you join us in our commitment to 90-90-90, the ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic.”

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), many strategies will be needed to close the book on the AIDS epidemic, and one thing is certain. It will be impossible to end the epidemic without bringing HIV treatment to all who need it. By 2020, the goal is that 90 percent of all people who have HIV/AIDS know their status, are on treatment and will have viral suppression.

Kibby is raising the bar on this year’s red carpet arrivals. “The red carpet has become a party in its own right and we’re looking for ways to include all attendees this year.”

Palm Springs Life Magazine had this to say about last year’s gala: “The Chase has a reputation among trendsetters as one of the few gala events where attendees are encouraged to have fun and take risks with fashion … and the guests did not disappoint. Black sequins and Mr. Turk dinner jackets were de rigueur for many men, as were well-fitted and accessorized tuxedos (which held their own alongside long gowns and sexy short dresses).”

This year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will be hosted by Ross Mathews. Mathews has established himself as one of the most in-demand television personalities hosts and pop culture experts in the entertainment arena today. Endearing and witty, Mathews has won the hearts of millions of Americans since his television debut – as a correspondent for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Mathews can be seen as a judge on the smash hit LOGO series “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. Mathews is also a fixture on “E! News” and E! Network’s live red carpet award show coverage year round. He was most recently seen hosting E!’s “Live From E!”. He was also the host of “Hello Ross”, a weekly fan destination where the intersections of celebrity gossip and pop culture collide, giving a unique viewpoint into the latest Hollywood news. Mathews can also be heard weekly on his top-rated, PodcastOne show “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews”.

Chief Development Officer, Darrell Tucci is excited about this year’s entertainment. “I think we’re going to see a room full of friends singing along to the hits of headline entertainment En Vogue.”

The group has never been afraid to break the mold and step ‘outside’ the norm. From “Free Your Mind” to “My Lovin”, they have been trendsetters in music and style. Today, affectionately known as the “original funky divas”, they are redefining the idea of beauty and what it means, beyond the traditional sense, with their distinctive fusion of music and style.

Recognized as one of the top five highest selling American female music groups in history, En Vogue has sold more than 20 million albums and effortlessly transitioned into the digital age, amassing more than 30 million streams and more than 26 million YouTube views on their top six hit singles alone: the R&B and Pop smash hits Hold On, Free Your Mind, Never Gonna Get It, Giving Him Something He Can Feel, and Don’t Let Go.

Contrary to popular belief, En Vogue has never disbanded. As true music veterans who have withstood ever-changing music industry fads and trends, the group continues to record and perform worldwide with original members Cindy Herron-Braggs, Terry Ellis, and newest member, Rhona Bennett.

“We find total freedom and fulfillment when we hit the stage,” Cindy Herron-Braggs says. “It’s the ultimate connection with our fans. It’s about the energy you receive, the love, and the reciprocation from the message in the music.”

Attendees of The Chase know to pace themselves during the evening so they have energy left for its famous after-party, which will feature a DJ, a performance by Thelma Houston, and a series of tightly guarded surprises revealed as guests dance the night away in a lounge created inside the Palm Springs Convention Center. Guests of the after party can expect her signature blend of high- energy dance classics and soulful ballads.

Thelma Houston may be best known for the worldwide success of her disco anthem “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, but her support of AIDS Services organizations is also legendary. She is known for her dedication to humanitarian causes, including tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS and deep commitments to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). In 2013, the City of West Hollywood named January 29th “Thelma Houston Day” in recognition of her many charitable activities.

Powerful momentum is now building towards a new narrative on HIV treatment and a new, final, ambitious, but achievable target: 90-90-90: Treatment for All.

By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.

People can carry the HIV virus for years and not know it.  The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.  Your support enables D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley program to provide free and confidential HIV testing at hundreds of community events and dozens of test sites – from health fairs and food banks to Walgreens and D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK.

By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.

Thanks to attendance at the Steve Chase and other fundraising events, Desert AIDS Project ensures that newly-diagnosed HIV positive patients receive the medications they need to survive and thrive, and regular follow-ups to safeguard their well-being.  D.A.P.’s Patient Assistance Program secures critical HIV and other medications at reduced cost.

By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

To suppress the virus to an undetectable level, an individual must start on medication as early as possible and stay on it for a lifetime. This can be challenging when facing other serious challenges.  That’s the driving force behind D.A.P. Total Care – the comprehensive combination of health and wellness services which are uniquely tailored to each individual – including medical, dental, mental health, social services, support groups, substance abuse counseling, and much more – all conveniently provided under one roof at D.A.P.’s Palm Springs location.

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2018 Schedule of Events February 10, 2018

5:30 PM
Red Carpet Arrivals
Cocktails
Silent Auction

7:00 PM
Dinner
Awards
Entertainment
En Vogue

9:30 PM
After Party featuring Thelma Houston

2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold Matzner, Walgreens

MAJOR: Desert Regional Medical CenterEisenhower Medical Center, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Reaction Marketing, The Desert Sun, Wells Fargo Foundation

STAR: Annette Bloch, Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, KMIR, Renova Energy

SUPPORTING: Mark Adams, AFR Furniture Rentals, Desert Oasis Healthcare, Wade & Henry Bull Foundation, ITEX of the Desert Empire, Patrick Jordan, Lauri Kibby, Kaiser Permanente, Barbara & Jerry Keller, Lyft, Renaissance Hotel, Savoury’s, Gregory E. Seller, Bruce Strohm, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine

BENEFACTOR: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Karen & Tony Barone, Diageo, Gilead, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, Laboratory Corporation of America, Loan Depot, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Spectrum, Bruce & Ann Strohm, Sysco-Riverside, Union Bank of California Foundation

MEDIA: CV Independent, Gay Desert Guide, Palm Springs Life, The Standard, Here Media, The Hollywood Times

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

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Damon Jacobs on Dating and Relationships …

Join us in person for a complimentary drink or two plus passed hors d’oeuvres, or watch our Facebook Livestream during the event to ask this nationally recognized PrEP advocate your questions.

Getting our heads around how PrEP and PEP works likely is less of an undertaking than the emotional implications it will have for how we connect with our partner/s in this new era.

According to Bruce Weiss, Desert AIDS Project’s Director of Community Health, “Before PrEP and PEP, the only way of protecting each other and ourselves from contracting HIV was abstinence and condom use. Abstinence was frustrating, and relying solely on condoms proved challenging for many.  Not only did new infections still occur at a destructive pace, many felt a sense of fear around sex, as well as worry when getting regular HIV tests. We have heard consistently from gay men that it was hard to really enjoy sex without this fear and anxiety, even when consistently using condoms.”

Old ways of thinking, like other habits, die hard. But with PrEP, this fear surrounding sex is no longer necessary for us to protect each other and ourselves. Damon Jacobs, LMFT, is determined to help us grasp this, and even go deeper.

According to Jacobs, we are still not discussing how we cognitively and emotionally connect. The puzzle he wants to help each of us solve is “how can sexual connections be experienced as meaningful whether they last an hour, a year, or five decades.”

If anyone should know, it’s Damon Jacobs. He’s a licensed marriage and family therapist, HIV prevention specialist, and nationally-recognized PrEP advocate.

“Integrating PrEP education into a private psychotherapy practice was a natural fit for me, given my work for most of the past 20 years has centered on enhancing serenity in individuals, increasing pleasure in relationships, and challenging oppressive structures in society.”

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.*