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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About …

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About DoxyPEP

Words by Daniel Hirsch


A hefty dose of antibiotics. A big syringe in the derrière. Getting treated for an STI is not fun — to say nothing of the symptoms and risks involved with contracting one like syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia. With the CDC reporting rising numbers — gonorrhea is up 11% over the last five years, syphilis is up 79% — risk of infection is on the rise.


However, clinicians around the country, spurred by recently released guidance from the CDC, are recommending the antibiotic doxycycline as a means of post-exposure prophylaxis (DoxyPEP for short) to prevent the spread of STIs. I spoke with DAP Health Chief of Community Health C.J. Tobe about this prevention strategy.


Let’s start with the basics. What is DoxyPEP?

DoxyPEP, or doxycycline, is a 200 milligram pill that can be taken within 24 to 72 hours after sex. It reduces a person’s chance of contracting either chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis by up to 70%. Doxycycline has been around for quite some time and is used to treat STIs and acne.


How sexually active do you need to be to justify a prescription?

It’s going to look different depending on a person’s lifestyle and the conversation with their provider. For example, if you have sex Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can take DoxyPEP that Monday morning and you’re good. Let’s say you’re having sex five times a week, then you should probably talk to your doctor about switching to DoxyPrEP.


And what’s DoxyPrEP?

DoxyPrEP would be taking 100 milligrams of doxycycline daily as a preventative measure. That’s typically for people who either want to make sure they’re protected, or they’re having frequent sex, or they may be a sex worker.


Are there side effects? Isn’t doxy tough on the GI tract?

A lot of the side effects that get reported are GI issues. So we recommend people take the medication with food or a carbonated drink. When people take a higher dose of doxycycline, like 200 milligrams twice a day, the side effects increase. If you go on DoxyPrEP, that’s just 100 milligrams once a day. And I can tell you it’s such a low dose that the majority of folks don’t have side effects.


One of my worst nightmares, and it’s one shared by the World Health Organization, is that an STI becomes resistant to antibiotics. Is that a concern with people regularly taking doxy?

Part of the medical community is hesitant to embrace this strategy because they don’t know what could happen in terms of drug resistance. The other half are saying, “We need to get people on it right now because it’s an important preventative tool.” There’s always going to be a risk of drug resistance when people don’t follow the dosing recommendation of a doctor. As a public health person seeing the rise in STIs, I think a patient who is having sex should have that conversation with their doctor and see if DoxyPEP is right for them. Personally, I’ve been on doxy since 2020 and it’s been a lifesaver.

Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs …

Annual Philanthropic Foodie Event Happens Thursday, April 25


DAP Health participates in the one-day North American gastronomic fundraiser for the 19th year.



Dining Out For Life® — the annual, North American foodie fundraising event that has collected more than nearly 100 million dollars for community-based organizations that serve people living with or impacted by HIV since its inception in 1991 — will take place in Palm Springs and across the Coachella Valley on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

Every year since 2005, Greater Palm Springs has participated in the all-day/all-night affair on behalf of DAP Health. And on each of those occasions, locals, snowbirds, and tourists have swelled with pride and come out in droves to raise much-needed funds while enjoying the generosity of participating local restaurants, bars, cafés, and bakeries that donate anywhere from 30 to 110% of their entire day’s and/or evening’s receipts — not just the profits — to the legendary effort.

Thanks to the generous support of participating restaurants, volunteers, and community members, Greater Palm Springs perennially places in the top three successful markets in the country. In 2023, 72 desert establishments participated to raise more than $270,000 — more than San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and other large urban centers.

With more than 12,000 local supporters expected to dine out for life at breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and/or late night this year, the 2024 goal is for Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs to grab the number one spot.

Eager participants are urged to visit daphealth.org/dofl, make reservations well in advance, and prepare to satisfy their hunger and thirst as many times as possible on April 25 to beat the North American record right here in our own back yard. If their favorite eatery hasn’t yet made its participation public, diners should speak up and urge the powers that be to sign up ASAP.

For the second year in a row, on the night before — from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. — DAP Health will host a Bar Crawl on Arenas Road in Palm Springs that will serve as the official kickoff of DOFLGPS 2024. Drag performer Jackett Knightley, the event’s special ambassador, will “Pied Piper” patrons from bar to bar, where DAP Health volunteers will provide proof of participation by punching each revealer’s Bar Crawl bingo card.  

DOFL National’s website states that each year “more than 50 local HIV service organizations partner with 2,400+ participating restaurants, 4,100+ volunteers, and 300,000+ diners to raise over $4.5 million for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and Canada. The best part? All funds raised through a city’s Dining Out For Life event stay in that city to provide help and hope to people living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.”

“Because we were founded 40 years ago as a response to the AIDS crisis, Dining Out For Life has always been of supreme importance to DAP Health’s staff and patients,” says CEO David Brinkman. “Since our recent tremendous expansion has allowed us to increase our award-winning HIV/AIDS care from three to five of our 25 clinics, this annual event is more important to us than ever.”

To register as a Dining Out For Life in-restaurant volunteer ambassador on April 25 — or to sign on as a participating establishment, please contact Bruce Benning at [email protected] or 760.320.7854.

Participating Restaurants at Press Time

1501 Uptown Gastropub

Aspen Mills Bakery & Café

Barracks Bar

Bongo Johnny’s

Carousel Bakery

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen Palm Desert

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen Palm Springs

Chicken Ranch


Copley’s on Palm Canyon

Cork & Fork

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

El Mirasol at Los Arboles

El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

El Patio Palm Springs



Gelato Granucci

Grand Central

Heirloom Craft Kitchen

Impala Bar & Grill Nightclub


Johnny Costa’s Ristorante

Kaiser Grille

Le Donne Cucina Italiana

Lulu California Bistro

Palm Greens Café

Purple Room

Spencer’s Restaurant at the Mountain


The Front Porch


Townie Bagels

Trio Restaurant

Willie’s Modern Fare

Zin American Bistro

Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs 2024 Sponsors at Press Time

Steve Tobin, Johnny Krupa, and The Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation

Media Sponsors

Alpha Media

KESQ ABC News Channel 3

KGAY 106.5 & 92.1, GayDesertGuide.LGBT and 103.1 MeTVfm

NBC Palm Springs

A Guide to Safely Hooking Up Online

A Guide to Safely Hooking Up Online

While popular online dating and hookup apps offer a convenient way to meet new people, their relative anonymity can also leave you open to danger. It’s therefore essential that you prioritize your safety. This guide is aimed at those who use these apps and would like to reduce the risk of situations that are uncomfortable at best, and life-threatening at worst.



Define Expectations
Discuss intentions and desires openly. Talk in detail about what you’re both looking for, including any kinks/fetishes. If either

of you uses drugs, communicate your preferences and boundaries clearly.

Exchange Face Pics
Insist on receiving recent face pics. If they refuse to share, that’s a red flag. Move on.

Get a Phone Number
Swap phone numbers, then give a call or send a text. If they refuse to share, that’s a red flag. Move on.

Take Screenshots
Capture the person’s profile, face pics, and all your texted conversation, including their phone number. This documentation can be vital if issues arise later.

Tell a Friend
Share details (who, what, where) with a trusted friend. Ask that they check up on you if they don’t hear from you within an agreed-upon time.

Secure Valuables and Beware of Scams
Be cautious and secure your valuables. Be vigilant about scams and fraudulent behavior.

Install a Security Camera
If you have security cameras, such as a security doorbell or surveillance system, use them to observe the person before opening your door. If you don’t have cameras, you can still lessen potential risk by telling the person you do.

Trust Your Instincts
Above all, no matter what, listen to your gut. It rarely lies. If anything feels off at any point, you have the right to end the interaction at any time — even during or after sex. Consent is continuous, and you can withdraw it at any moment.



Trust Your Instincts

Above all, no matter what, listen to your gut. It rarely lies. If anything feels off at any point, you have the right to end the interaction at any time — even during or after sex. Consent is continuous, and you can withdraw it at any moment.

Note Physical Characteristics
Pay attention to distinctive features such as scars, tattoos, or birthmarks. This may be useful to identify the person later.

Be extremely careful when using bondage and restraints with someone you don’t know.

Stay Sober
Don’t play when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can lead to poor judgment and leave you very vulnerable.

Engage in Safer Drug Use
If you do choose to use drugs, do so as wisely as possible. And test them beforehand, whether they’re from an unknown source or not. Free fentanyl and xylazine testing strips are widely available — including at DAP Health — and can help prevent accidental overdoses.


This Isn’t Fun Anymore!

Drugged and/or Assaulted?
You may suddenly find yourself incapacitated, or unable to consent. Common symptoms of having been drugged include drowsiness, disorientation, dizziness, and/or excessive intoxication despite having consumed a minimal amount of alcohol or drugs.

Collect Evidence
If you can do so safely and discreetly, take photos or videos of your attacker, yourself, relevant objects, and your location. This evidence could help legal action you may choose to pursue.

If you believe you’ve been drugged, or are in immediate danger, try to leave safely.

Stay, Scream, Fight Back
If leaving isn’t possible, scream to attract attention, and/or use any available object to defend yourself.

Call 911
If you can, call 911. Explain your situation as clearly and calmly as possible, providing your location. If you’re unable to speak, stay on the line to allow emergency services to trace your call.



Remember It’s Not Your Fault
It’s important to recognize that shame and embarrassment are common responses, but please know you are not to blame. Assaults can happen to individuals of all genders, and you are innocent in this situation.

Seek Medical Attention
This is crucial to ensure your well-being and to collect any potential evidence.

Make a Police Report
If you’ve experienced a crime, reporting it to the authorities can help prevent further harm to others. Also, remember that reporting a crime won’t result in trouble if you’ve been using drugs.

Embrace Support
Recognize you’ve endured emotional and physical trauma, and that seeking help is a courageous step. Whether you reach out to friends, family, or specialized support organizations, countless others have walked similar paths. You’re not alone in this journey. Support is available to uplift and guide you through it.


These are simply suggestions, and it’s essential to use what works best for you and your situation.



A Guide to Hookup App Lingo

This glossary is your dating app decoder.

[+] HIV-positive

+/- Interested in HIV-positive/negative

420-friendly Into marijuana

Admin Short for administer (injecting someone with drugs)

Anon Short for anonymous (a preference for not knowing personal details before connecting)

On Deck Having drugs for sale

BB (AKA Bareback, Raw, Breeding, Taking Loads) Condomless anal sex

DDF Drug- and disease-free

Discreet Closeted or in a relationship but looking

DL On the down low (closeted or in a relationship but looking)

DTF Down to f***

Host Hooking up at their place

Looking Interested in hooking up

NSA No strings attached (sex without emotional fidelity or future expectations)

Party Into drugs

PNP Party and Play (refers to drugs and sex)

T Tina (crystal meth)

Travel Not hooking up at their place

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Mon …

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Here’s the 101 so that you can keep yourself and those you love safe.

Words by David Russo


“Colon cancer is the battle we can win with early detection and regular screening.”

                                                                                                               — Unknown

DAP Health’s Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Silas Gyimah is fond of that inspiring citation of unknown derivation. As the founder of the Palm Springs-based, queer-led nonprofit Cheeky Charity — whose mission is to facilitate colorectal and anal cancer prevention, early detection, and support, with a focus on the young and LGBTQ+ populations — so am I.

“At every visit, we verify records to see if a patient is due for a screening,” Gyimah says. “If they are, we schedule them, focusing on FIT [fecal immunochemical test] and colonoscopies as our primary screening methods. This is a true implementation of the quote above.” 

Let’s delve more deeply into this largely preventable and curable disease.


Colorectal Health: Understanding and Prevention

Colorectal cancer (CRC), once predominantly a concern for older adults, is now increasingly affecting younger individuals. This shift necessitates a renewed focus. Understanding the nuances of colorectal health is vital for individuals of all ages.


Understanding Colorectal Cancer

CRC originates in the colon or rectum, part of the digestive system. It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers.


Symptoms To Be Aware Of

CRC might not cause symptoms right away, but if they occur, they may include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, a feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely, weakness or fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. It’s important to consult a health care provider if any of these symptoms are experienced.


Risk Factors

Certain factors increase the risk of developing CRC. These include older age, a personal or family history of CRC or colorectal polyps, inflammatory intestinal conditions, a low-fiber/high-fat diet, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcohol use. Genetics also play a role, with some inherited genes increasing the risk.


Prevention Strategies

Prevention of CRC starts with lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — and low in red and processed meats — can reduce risk. Regular physical activity is crucial. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and moderating alcohol consumption are also recommended.


The Importance of Screening

Screening for CRC is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing the disease. It’s generally recommended to begin screening at age 45. Screening can find precancerous polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer. For people at higher risk, such as those with a family history, screening may be recommended earlier.


Navigating the Rising Trend in Young Adults

The rising incidence of CRC among young adults is a complex issue that involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. It’s important for young adults to:

  • Be aware of their family history.
  • Minimize known risks.
  • Incorporate healthy preventative habits into their lifestyle.
  • Regularly check for symptoms.
  • Discuss screenings with their health care providers if they have risk factors.



As our understanding of colorectal health evolves, it becomes clear that CRC is not just a concern for the elderly. The increase in cases among younger adults emphasizes the importance of awareness and proactive health measures across all age groups. Through lifestyle modifications, regular screening, and early detection, the impact of CRC can be significantly reduced.



Colorectal Cancer Alliance, colorectalcancer.org

American Cancer Society, cancer.org/cancer/types/colon-rectal-cancer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal

Cheeky Charity, cheekycharity.org


In a partnership between DAP Health and Cheeky Charity — and in honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month — 50 eye-catching banners will be flown throughout downtown Palm Springs during March to help raise awareness and reduce stigma.

The Science of Positivity

The Science of Positivity

“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

Words by Kay Kudukis


In the 1990s, a recurring skit on SNL called “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” had Al Franken portraying an insecure, support group-addicted, self-help schlub in a cardigan. He was the antithesis of the popular, flashy, mindset gurus like Tony Robbins. Stuart would frequently look at himself in the mirror and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me.”

Although Franken was poking fun at the new fad, it wasn’t very new. Over 3,000 years ago, the Greeks were writing meditations and guidelines touting the best ways to live. The idea is actually 5,000 years old, but back then there was no alphabet, which made writing hard.

By the 1800s, poets and renowned authors were onto it, but scientists didn’t take notice until the 1970s, when they asked, “Is there anything to this?” It took a few decades, and a lot of studies, but the answer is — in wildly unscientific terms — it’s definitely a thing. Turns out, there’s true power in the science of positivity!

Yes, science. The University of Chapel Hill conducts a Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory studying “how positive emotions affect people’s thinking patterns, social behavior, health, and physiological reactions.” Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic promote positive thinking to lower blood sugar and high blood pressure, and to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by lowering cortisol.

The human brain is the most complex thing in the known universe, and yours is fueled by your thoughts. Ever heard that if you repeat a lie long enough it becomes the truth? If your brain is filled with negative self-chatter, it will come to believe it. If your inner monologue is positive, the brain responds, and your stress levels decrease along with your blood pressure.

There is another tool called “reframing” that makes you more productive. It’s where “I hate doing the dishes” becomes “I can’t wait to get these dishes done and have a nice clean sink.” Such positivity releases dopamine and serotonin into your system, and if you add a smile? Well, a study at the University of Kansas concluded that smiling is such a powerful source of endorphins that your stress levels go down even when you fake a smile. So now you’ve got a buzzy cocktail of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins in you, and the dishes are done.

If you need a little extra help, DAP Health is here for you. Its medical professionals won’t do your dishes, but they do have some unique Wellness Services, including a Zoom group based on positivity and related to achieving goals.

Michael Jordan didn’t get to be the GOAT by talent alone. In fact, he attributes his success to positive thinking. He never told himself he couldn’t. “I can accept failure,” he famously said. “Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

So be like Michael. Flip that switch. It’s not going to make you a great basketball player, but you’ll absolutely, positively, win at this game we call life.

9 Bad Habits for the Brain

9 Bad Habits for the BRAIN

For a more positive headspace, avoid these negative behaviors

Words by Dr. Jill Gover

We all want healthy aging, and most of us know a good diet and exercise are essential for a happy and healthy brain. That said, there are also a number of bad habits that can undermine cognition. Altering just one of the following nine bad habits can change how the brain works and help you age better, with reduced risk of dementia. Even people with memory problems can benefit from changing these harmful behaviors. Here are the nine bad habits that hurt your brain:

1. Accentuating the Negative

Ruminating on the negative has been linked to more amyloid and tau deposits (microscopic protein shards that decrease one’s capacity to think and remember) in the brain, which increases risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Negative rumination is associated with a decline in cognition and memory in people over 55, and an increase in depressed mood. Negative self-talk arises from faulty thinking that overemphasizes the destructive aspect of a situation and neglects or ignores the positives. To counter these intrusive negative thoughts, therapists recommend writing a daily gratitude journal, practicing deep belly breathing techniques, learning cognitive behavioral therapy interventions to counter negative self-talk, and employing mindfulness strategies such as greeting the negative thought with “hello,” then telling it “goodbye.”

2.  Skipping Vaccines

A recent study of adults 65 and over who had received the flu vaccine showed they were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Those who received the pneumonia vaccine were 30% less likely to develop dementia. 

3. Drinking Sugary Beverages

A 2022 research study found that sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, sweetened tea, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks) were linked to a decline in cognitive functioning. It’s better to eat whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Sugar is not good for the brain. 

4. Maintaining Unhealthy Sleep Habits

Quality sleep is crucial to a sharp, productive mind. Creating a consistent sleep schedule allows for more restoration. It’s important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Too much caffeine, or a room not cool or dark enough, can cause sleep problems as well. In addition, untreated sleep apnea can lead to memory and cognitive disturbances due to a buildup of amyloid material in the brain.

5. Listening to Loud Music

In a study of 639 adults aged 36–90, mild hearing loss was associated with double the likelihood of developing dementia. If someone else standing next to you can hear your earbuds, they’re too loud! If you’re standing within three feet of someone and can’t hear them, the world around you is too loud. It’s a good idea to wear earplugs at concerts, and to remove yourself from loud environments when possible. Continuously subjecting your ears to excessively loud noise when you’re young may harm your hearing and increase your risk of developing cognitive impairments later in life.

6. Excessively Using Drugs That Block Acetylcholine

Tricyclic antidepressants, some bladder medications, and antihistamines can block production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Studies have found that higher cumulative use of these drugs is associated with dementia. If you regularly take several of these drugs, ask your doctor about the risk of anticholinergics and if you should explore alternative medications.

7. Having No Sense of Purpose

Having a reason to get up in the morning contributes to healthy aging, and is an essential element of good self-esteem. Researchers at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago found that those who scored high on a purpose-in-life assessment were 2.4 times less likely to develop the illness. Whether you are young or old, working or retired, it’s important to explore and create a passion project. Look for new opportunities to engage in something meaningful to you. Volunteer. Travel. Deepen your relationships with others.

8. Not Flossing Your Teeth

Lackluster oral hygiene leads to buildup of bacteria in the mouth and inflammation of the gums, which untreated, can cause periodontitis. Poor periodontal health and tooth loss can increase risk of cognitive decline and dementia, as bacteria and inflammation can make their way from the mouth into the bloodstream, and eventually into the brain. Research has found that people missing several teeth had a 48% higher risk of cognitive impairment. 

9. Drinking Alcohol

In a 2022 study at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that even moderate drinking can cause reduced brain volume in older adults. A 50-year-old who went from one alcoholic drink a day to two drinks per day had changes in the brain equivalent to aging two years. Alcohol interferes with brain functions such as speech, memory, judgment, and balance. Cutting back on alcohol is a smart strategy for brain health. It’s a good idea to avoid the urge to drink when you feel sad, mad, tired, or bored. When you drink alcohol to get relief from unpleasant emotions, you inhibit the ability to process and resolve those feelings, which can lead to negative outcomes later. 

My professional advice: Eliminate as many of these bad habits as possible and you will improve your brain health and increase the likelihood of aging well!

DAP Health Continues to Fight for LGBTQ+ …

DAP Health Continues to Fight for LGBTQ+ Health Equity

 At the 2023 Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival, the organization will celebrate its long history of championing health care access for the queer community.

As it has done since the first Greater Palm Springs Pride in 1986, DAP Health will raise its rainbow flags high in the air and proudly participate in the 37th annual iteration of the event, to be held November 2 to 5.

With the recent integration of Borrego Health, DAP Health’s team now consists of 850 dedicated health care professionals serving 100,000 diverse patients in 240 of Southern California’s rural and urban zip codes, from the Salton Sea to San Diego.

In addition to hosting its DAP Health Wellness Pavilion along Palm Canyon Drive (directly across the street from Lulu California Bistro) — from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 and from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 5 — more than a hundred of the organization’s employees, patients, donors, volunteers, board members, and other supporters are expected to march shoulder to shoulder in the Sunday morning Pride Parade.

“Participating in Greater Palm Springs Pride is always a personal highlight of the fall season, not just for me, but for everyone who calls DAP Health home in one fashion or another,” says longtime CEO David Brinkman. “At DAP Health, we have always fought for the LGBTQ+ community, championing health care access for nearly four decades. Our acquisition of Borrego Health hasn’t weakened our commitment; it’s fortified our resolve.

“With our expanded size and reach, we pack a mightier punch in our quest for health care justice. Our unified voice, advocating for our communities alongside elected officials, is now louder than ever, and our team of dedicated care providers has grown threefold. We believe health care should know no boundaries. Our goal is to continue to honor the memory of those lost to HIV/AIDS by removing barriers, and by creating a more just world through equitable access.”

Employees from the nonprofit’s 25 clinics will carry signs emblazoned with the name of their home location. Others will carry placards sporting such slogans as “Mental Health is Health Care,” “LGBTQ+ Care is Health Care,” and “Drag is Love” (the catchphrase printed on DAP Health’s official 2023 Pride Parade T-shirt).

Riding in a vehicle just ahead of the group will be Donald Beck, one of the founders of Desert AIDS Project (as the nonprofit was originally known) who is this year’s recipient of Greater Palm Springs Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Lifetime Achievement Award.

Loudly announcing DAP Health’s presence will be a large assortment of blue/robin’s egg, purple/lavender, and orange/red balloons respectively spelling out the D-A-P of the organization’s acronym and hoisted high above a banner that will read “Together for Better Health,” a nod to DAP Health recently absorbing the Borrego Health system.

Also part of the DAP Health delegation, riding in a vintage convertible in glorious full drag, will be Les Dames du Soleil Dottie & Maude (AKA Douglas Woodmansee and Marshall Pearcy). The tribute is designed to honor the longtime married couple of entertainers — who were at the forefront of early HIV/AIDS efforts, raising much-needed funds for DAP at the dawn of the epidemic, when other resources and supporters were scarce — for their vital role in DAP Health’s history of LGBTQ+ activism.

“Long before our community had the economic and political strength we now proudly possess, before the emergence of LGBTQ+ advocacy or health care organizations, drag queens were tirelessly raising funds for our cause, one dollar at a time,” says DAP Health Chief of Brand Marketing Steven Henke. “They courageously championed our rights and well-being until we found the strength to fight for ourselves. We should never forget the legacy they forged in high heels.”

As for the Wellness Pavilion, it will be staffed with employees and volunteers from DAP Health’s community health department, who will be providing full, free sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, harm reduction services, and general outreach. Representatives will also be talking with attendees about the free pregnancy testing and birth control consultations now available at its sexual wellness clinics.

The Pavilion will also be home to a Recovery Oasis, where revelers can pick up information about DAP Health’s host of recovery services, including various meetings and its Outpatient Drug-Free (ODF ) program.

Behavioral Health Resources for the Lake …

Behavioral Health Resources for the Lake Arrowhead and Surrounding Mountain LGBTQ+ Community

At DAP Health, we recognize the profound impact trauma can have on individuals. Whether it’s the aftermath of a hate crime, perceived threats, or other distressing experiences, we understand that the effects of such events can be long-lasting.

It’s crucial to remember that healing begins with sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone who understands and cares. Even in a virtual setting, DAP Health’s dedicated professionals are here to support you every step of the way and provide a safe and empathetic space for you to process, heal, and reclaim your mental and emotional well-being.

We will continue to reach out to partner organizations to update this list of mental health resources that can be accessed in person or virtually. If you are a partner organization that can support the community, please use the form below to submit your organization’s information, and a DAP Health team member will contact you to validate your information before adding it to this list.

Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ (lakearrowheadlgbtq.org)

From the nonprofit’s website, its mission: We will create an all-inclusive, safe community for everyone. Our goal is to raise funds to create a LGBTQ+ Center for resources, recreation, learning, counseling, and health care. Our building will be available to anyone who needs it.

Furthermore: Lauri Carleton was not only a beloved mother, wife, and friend but a founding member of our Mountain Provisions Co-op community and a fierce advocate for love, equality, and human rights. Her tragic death has left a void in our hearts, but her vision for a more caring, inclusive, and engaged community lives on.

Lauri’s vision for a better world: Lauri was a pillar in our community, an unwavering champion of values that sought to break down barriers and build bridges. Her dedication to equality and her courage in flying the LGBTQ+ flag exemplify her commitment to creating a world where love knows no boundaries. The Lauri Carleton Memorial Fund aims to keep her spirit alive, by supporting local and inclusive community-building initiatives that reflect these same values.

SAC Health (sachealth.org)

A dedicated Lake Arrowhead support line was established at 909.219.6880 on 9.14.23 and will be available Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for as long as needed. After-hours, the line accepts messages. Behavioral health offerings include individual in-person counseling for adults and youth (IEHP, Molina, Risk Management, Medicare, Medical). Virtual options are available (except for Medicare). Group counseling is available, with coverage requirements. Appointments for one-on-one counseling are available at the end of the month. Group sessions will be held virtually once a roster is developed.

DAP Health (daphealth.org)

DAP Health’s department of behavioral health provides services focusing on treating mental health and substance use with individual therapy or medication management, as necessary, and specializes in serving the LGBTQ+ community. Appointments are in person or virtual via phone, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Call 760.992.0450 to schedule.


Queer Works Therapy (queerworks.org/freetherapy)

Appointments can be requested online, with intake within 48 hours and the first appointment within a week. Behavioral health services include LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy (virtual sessions open to all California residents, with fees based on income level), LGBTQ+ trauma-informed therapy (specializing in care for victims of hate crimes or perceived threats), trans-affirmative therapy (focused on transgender, gender-diverse, and intersex care).

The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (thecentercv.org)

Affirmative, virtual, low-cost therapy is available to all California residents. For more information, or to be added to the waitlist, call 760.416.7790, Ext. 3.


Photo courtesy of Mountain Provisions Cooperative, Lake Arrowhead.

Dine Out For Life to End HIV on April 27

It’s Time to Dine Out For Life on Behalf of DAP Health on April 27

Dining Out For Life® — the annual, North American gastronomic fundraising event that has collected more than 100 million dollars for community-based organizations that serve people living with or impacted by HIV since its inception in 1991 — will take place in Palm Springs and across the Coachella Valley on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

Every year since 2005 — save for 2020 and 2021, when COVID-19 derailed best-laid plans — Greater Palm Springs has participated in the all-day/all-night affair on behalf of DAP Health. And on each of those occasions, locals, snowbirds, and even tourists have swelled with pride and come out with a vengeance to earn much-needed monies while enjoying the generosity of participating local restaurants, bars, and bakeries that donate anywhere from 30 to 110% of their entire day and evening’s receipts — not just the profits — to the popular effort.

Thanks to the benevolent support of participating restaurants, volunteers, and community members, Greater Palm Springs has grown to become the second-most-successful market in the country. In 2022, 68 desert restaurants participated to raise $207,000 — more than San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and other large urban centers. In fact, the desert — with its Indio-Cathedral City-Palm Springs 2022 metro population of 487,000 — came in second only to Denver, whose current population is almost 3 million!

With more than 12,000 local bighearted gourmands expected to dine out for life at breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner this year, the 2023 goal is for Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs to grab the number one spot.

Eager participants are urged to visit daphealth.org/dofl, make reservations well in advance, and prepare to sate their hunger and thirst three times or more on April 27 to beat the North American record right here in our back yard. If their favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner spot hasn’t yet made its participation public, diners should speak up and urge the powers that be to sign up ASAP.

The umbrella organization’s website states that each year, “more than 50 local HIV service organizations partner with 2,400+ participating restaurants, 4,100+ volunteers, and 300,000+ diners to raise over $4.5 million for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and Canada. The best part? All funds raised through a city’s Dining Out For Life event stay in that city to provide help and hope to people living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.”

“At its heart, Dining Out For Life is a win-win community event where people get together with friends to feast for the greater good,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Each year, I’m awestruck not only by the generosity of our participating restaurateurs, but by the enthusiasm and pride of our deeply committed desert dwellers. What a genius way to have fun while giving back.”

To register as a Dining Out For Life in-restaurant volunteer ambassador on April 27 — or to sign on as a participating establishment — please contact Avery Bell at [email protected] or 760.992.0441, or Bruce Benning at [email protected] or 760.320.7854.

Why DAP Health

Today, thousands of our friends and neighbors have no access to health care. Together, likeminded philanthropists of all stripes can change that by joining the nonprofit’s mission to create a healthier tomorrow by giving a voice to the often forgotten and by making sure none of us ever forgets that health care is not only human care, but a human right.

About DAP Health

Founded in 1984 by a group of community volunteers, DAP Health is an internationally renowned humanitarian health care organization and federally qualified health center (FQHC). In 2012, the nonprofit expanded its scope to care for all people.

Thanks to nearly 40 years of caring for people both directly and indirectly affected not only by the HIV/AIDS epidemic but by various other public health emergencies, DAP Health has the physical and intellectual resources, the desire, and — most importantly — the imagination to effect even greater positive change in the desert and beyond.

The next epidemic hasn’t surfaced — yet. But just as DAP Health met earlier community health crises decisively and successfully, its experts stand at the ready.

Vision Forward

DAP Health currently serves more than 10,000 patients annually, and every month, more than 100 new patients walk through its doors seeking comprehensive, quality health care. Clearly, there is unmet need.

Vision Forward is DAP Health’s 10-year strategic plan that will see the nonprofit grow to serve 25,000 patients a year at its main Palm Springs campus by 2025 thanks to expanded medical, dental, and mental health clinics and a new affordable housing complex that will add 60 units at Vista Sunrise II to the existing 81 units at Vista Sunrise. Grand total: 141.

The future of health care is holistic, innovative, agile, collaborative — and above all — patient-centric. DAP Health puts humanity back into health care. It meets community members where they are. It seeks out and lifts up allies for the betterment of all.

HIV/AIDS at DAP Health

Despite its substantial growth, HIV/AIDS care remains a cornerstone of DAP Health. Today, the nonprofit continues to:

  • Offer free onsite and mobile HIV and STI testing, including the mailing of at-home HIV tests to those unable to access its main Palm Springs campus.
  • Link people newly diagnosed with HIV to care — and help them remain in care — so that they can be undetectable, therefore unable to transfer the virus to others (U=U). 
  • Provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

2022 Community Impact

  • 32,496 HIV tests administered at the main campus and in the mobile clinic
  •    1,062 HIV self-test kits mailed to homes 
  •          75 patients welcomed into HIV care immediately after testing positive 
  •        130 people resumed antiretroviral treatment (ART) after lapses
  •        639 patients accessed PrEP for the first time
  • 35,000 condoms made available through DAP Health’s Condom Club 

Health care is...

Advocacy • Cultural Competency • Dental Care • Ending Epidemics • Equitable Access

Food Assistance • Gender-affirming Care • Harm Reduction • HIV Care • Housing

LGBTQ+ Health • Mental Health • Mobile Health Care • Primary Care • Recovery

Sexual Health • Social Services • Women’s Health

DAP Health... is health care.

Participating Restaurants at Press Time

 533 Viet Fusion

1501 Uptown Gastropub


Aspen Mills Bakery & Café



Chicken Ranch


Coachella Valley Coffee

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

El Mirasol at Los Arboles Hotel

El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

El Patio Palm Springs



Gelato Granucci

Hunters Nightclub Palm Springs

Impala Bar & Grill PSP


Johnny Costa’s Ristorante

Juniper Table

King’s Highway

Lulu California Bistro

Mr. Lyons

Palm Greens Café

Purple Room


Shop(pe) Ice Cream & Shop

So-Pa at L’Horizon


The Front Porch

The Tropicale Restaurant & Lounge

Toucans Tiki Lounge

Townie Bagels Bakery Café

Trio Restaurant

Willie’s Modern Fare

Proud 2023 Dining Out For Life Sponsors


Steve Tobin & Johnny Krupa/Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation


Media Sponsors

100.9 FM NRG The Deserts Dance Station

Alpha Media

CV Independent

Gay Desert Guide

NBC Palm Springs


The Desert Sun / Local IQ

The Standard Magazine

DAP Health Thrives on Community Collabs

DAP Health Thrives on Community Collaboration

No individual is an island. There’s strength in numbers. That’s what friends are for.

These maxims don’t just hold true for human beings, but for organizations as well. That’s why DAP Health is so deeply committed to collaborating with other local non-profits, as it did with Brothers of the Desert for its Desert AIDS Walks last October, with the Riverside County Department of Public Health at its Pride Pavilion in November, and with Presenting Sponsor Eisenhower Health at its upcoming annual benefit gala The Chase (AKA The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards) on March 25.

DAP Health’s most recent collab is between the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (thecentercv.org) and Revivals Thrift Stores (revivalsstores.com). The Center, plus all four resale retail locations (Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio) are currently welcoming donations of pre-loved red wear and red accessories as they ramp up toward the big Red Sale event, to be held only at the Palm Springs Revivals Thrift Store on Friday, February 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Anyone who has attended the Center’s annual Red Dress Dress Red benefit knows that — alongside The Chase — it’s one of the hottest tickets on the desert’s social calendar. Regular revelers of that cherry-colored soirée also probably have enough dresses, skirts, tutus, gowns, frilly frocks, uniforms, gear, jackets, pants, hats, shoes, belts, ties, purses, and costume jewelry to style the entire current cast of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” All red-hued items are graciously being accepted so that other partygoers may benefit from the recycled couture and accouterments. Who knew that by donating red, one could actually go green?

Drop-offs can be made during regular business hours at the Center (1301 North Palm Canyon Drive) or at any Revivals locations, no later than Thursday, February 23. Bequeathed merchandise will then be consolidated at the Palm Springs Revivals outpost on the day of the Red Sale event.

Seriously — why would one hang on to garb in which one has already been seen? And don’t just drop off your claret, cardinal, and carmine trappings and trimmings — come back to shop for yourself at Revivals Palm Springs on February 24. Who knows? You might just find your fabulous 2023 Red Dress Dress Red ensemble. Monies raised at the Red Sale will be shared between the Center and Revivals.

“No good work can be accomplished in a vacuum,” says Center Membership Manager Charles Huff. “Assisting, lifting, and partnering with others is paramount to the word ‘community.’ When we had the idea to have people donate their previous Red Dress Dress Red wardrobe, the natural choice was Revivals, due to DAP Health and the Center’s collaborative relationship. We’re very happy another first can be accomplished between our agencies.”

“DAP Health takes every opportunity to partner with other local non-profits for the benefit of everyone in the community, and the same can be said for Revivals,” adds Director of Retail Dane Koch, explaining that in addition to joining forces with Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert on its popular Revivals After Dark affair, the brand has teamed up with the likes of Sanctuary House, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, the Salvation Army, Mizell Center, and Angel View. “It is the Palm Springs Revivals store’s great pleasure to host the Red Sale event in tandem with the Center. May an endless sea of ruby, scarlet, and crimson flow out our doors that evening.”