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More than a Little Respect – A Convers …

Photo Credit: Erika Wagner

More than a Little Respect  A Conversation with Erasure’s Andy Bell 

By Steven Henke 

As seen in The Standard Magazine

I caught up with Andy Bell via email to talk about his career, his new album "The View from Halfway Down," and his September 18 keynote address at the Aging Positively – Reunion Project HIV and aging conference. Bell shed some positive vibes on his life and the creative renaissance he is experiencing 

Bell is a founding member of Erasure. Formed in 1985, when former Depeche Mode and Yazoo member Vince Clarke advertised for a new singer, the duo became successful in the U.K., U.S., and other countries with hits like "Chains of Love," "A Little Respect," and "Oh L'Amour." 

Now, three decades into their career, they are considered one of the most adored and influential synth-pop bands, selling more than 25 million records. In 2019, Erasure released their 18th studio album, "The Neon." 

Question: Thank you for talking with us. It has been a crazy year. You split your time between London and Miami. Where are you today? 

Answer: Finally, after a year and seven months, I'm back in Miami with my hubby after quarantining for two weeks in Cancun. I feel a huge sense of relief. Everyone was beginning to question my sanity and whether our relationship was real or not, or if I had just woken up from a strange dream!  

Q: I read there was a time during the pandemic when you were in lockdown in London and your husband, Stephen, and dog were in Florida. How did the lockdown change you? Did you learn anything new about yourself? 

A: I learned for the first time in my life that I could actually live with myself and do things for myself. I may have been a bit smelly, and I may not have washed as frequently as I should have, but hey, what the hell. I never lived on my own since leaving home at 18 from a large family, and I was dependent on other people. It was great to do my laundry, wash up and go grocery shopping. I love TV, so I can be a real couch potato. There were quite a few Erasure-related things to do, having just finished our photo session and mixing right before the pandemic broke, so I had many Zoom meetings.  

Q:  Many members of the LGBTQ+ community struggled with isolation and mental health during the pandemic. How did you take care of yourself? 

A:  I must admit, I did go back into my shell somewhat and did not speak to people or my family up to the point that they would worry and text to see if I was OK! The worst thing was not knowing when it would end. Canceling four flights made me feel like the red tape was somehow gagging me. Eventually, I had friends over, got stoned and drunk, and had a complete bitch and conspiracy theory fest. It helped tremendously! I'm glad I'm slightly mad, and so are my friends, but I think the LGBTQ crew has to be somewhat to survive. In the U.K., we are fortunate to have the National Health Service, which the U.S. seems to be so frightened of. The word "socialism" is just a word. How can you be scared of a word? It's just about non-profit organizations helping other people. Humans need one another, not this constant bickering, blaming, and point scoring! I did revert to my childhood in many ways, ordering lots of licorice and ice pops. And I did some online counseling, but that lasted three sessions (too boring), plus I got a bit sick of celebs doing their survival blogs, etc. Not that I am bitter (hehehe)! 

Q: Despite the pandemic, you have been experiencing a creative renaissance, releasing a new album, "The Neon!" The album has been described as one of 2020s most elevating moments in an otherwise difficult year. Did you have a team with you, or was making this album a more solitary experience?   

A: As I said, it had already been recorded just in time the previous October. (And I have to admit, I was very sober making it.) It was so refreshing that Vince had already recorded the backing tracks and musical scores in Brooklyn, and I vocalized the top lines in his home studio. There was an excitement in the air. I felt a new appreciation for the new wave music I had listened to as a teenager, and it bled into our new songs.  

Q: Before the pandemic, you released Erasure's 18th album, "The Neon." The album had a feel-good dance vibe that was great for keeping our spirits up during the lockdown. How did you choose the name for that album?  

A: "The Neon" conveys to me the red-light district nightlife and memories of the fairground. I love soft mezcal neon against ancient stone! 

Q: Erasure's 1988 single "A Little Respect" was voted the "Ultimate Pride Anthem" in a new poll from radio station Virgin Radio Pride UK, beating out anthems by Xtina, Gaga, Cher, and Madonna. What did that feel like?  

A:  We were completely taken by surprise by it. I admire the Virgin brand, and two of our favorite DJs now work there, Chris Evans and Graham Norton. It is great to be in such esteemed company on the list, so to speak. I suppose these things are cyclical.  

Q: Take us back 36 years; what were you doing when you answered Vince Clarke's ad looking for a new singer? Is it true you were selling ladies' shoes while starting your singing career? 

A: Yes, and laughing hysterically when I got static electric shocks from the metal stands because of the nylon carpets.  

Q: Did you have any idea when you met Clarke that you would be making music together 36 years later? Is it still exciting to imagine new music together?   

A: Vince Clarke was THE person I dreamed of working with, so, it goes without saying, I think he was a straight man looking for a gay husband! Time has flown by and honestly has no meaning for me!  

Q: You were one of the first openly gay pop stars, and you famously used fashion to make bold statements. Was there a message you hoped to send to other members of the LGBTQ+ community when you wore your iconic outfits? To me, I saw a brave Gay man. Was everyone supportive, or did you face pushback?  

A: It was fine. I didn't want there to be any doubt in anyone's mind as to who I was, and the campiness was somewhat of an armor. When "Sometimes" took off in the mid-1980s, I wore a white T-shirt and jeans. The first few videos from "Wonderland" were so camp, MTV was not going to touch them. It wasn't a sophisticated look like it is today because of RuPaul (God bless him). However, when the airplay started to drop off somewhat, I remember someone saying, "oh, can't you just put a dress back on!" 

Q: In 2004, you announced that you had been HIV positive for six years. Tell me about the process of making that decision. Did you know it would inspire others to know their status?  

A: I was scared at the time, and it took a few years for me to process it. At that time, a witch hunt was in full flow in the U.K. press. This is something I will discuss further at the conference.  

Q: You've been open about being gay since the 1980s and about having HIV. That openness helped many of us in the LGBTQ+ community, and it helped allies understand what they could not experience. Are you able to appreciate the impact you made? Who encouraged or inspired you to be authentic? 

A: To be honest, I think you are born with it. My mother was also very instrumental because she's basically a punk at heart who doesn't give a shit! I don't think about it too much. I love to be free and enjoy myself. Also, I rejected religion at about age 11.  

Q: You are the keynote speaker at the September 18 HIV and aging conference. How does living with HIV impact your life today? 

A: I am so grateful to be alive and be a beneficiary of the cutting-edge science used to create our medications. I salute all of those who passed before us and the brave activists who still fight for us every day. Never take your "freedom" for granted, although to me, it is a God-given right. It can be taken away at the stroke of a pen, usually by the people who believe they love Jesus. (So do I!) Love CANNOT be offensive. It is a misguided conception. 

Q: Every life and career has its ups and downs. How do you find inspiration today to keep the process fresh and exciting for yourself? How do you walk through the downtimes?  

A: Stop listening to music for a while, do a play, forget who you are, and just mingle. Sometimes a good dance helps.  

Q: You have uniquely dedicated fans that look forward to hearing their favorite songs when you perform. Do you have a favorite song that you look forward to playing at every concert?   

A: "Blue Savannah."  

What: The Aging Positively — Reunion Project 6th annual HIV conference is a collaboration between the HIV+ Aging Research Project—Palm Springs and other nonprofit community partners. It will be a virtual conference consisting of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels, and presentations led by key researchers, advocates, and long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS.  

When:  The 6th Annual Aging Positively — Reunion Project virtual conference will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2021. 

Where:  Attendees can attend the conference from the digital device of their choice.  In-person elements may be announced later.  

How: Registration is free and open on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hiv-aging-virtual-conference-tickets-162082616469

Aging Positively — Reunion Project 202 …

HIV and Aging Conference Header Image

Contact: Steven Henke                                 
Director of Brand Marketing 
(612) 310-3047 
shenke@daphealth.org 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

August 5 2021  

Local Organizations Collaborate on HIV & Aging Conference  

Aging Positively — Reunion Project Set September 18, 2021  

Aging Positively — Reunion Project, the annual Coachella Valley conference aimed at providing practical information and inspiration for those aging with HIV, will bring together community leaders to improve the lives of older adults living with HIV for a virtual conference on Sept. 18, 2021. The conference will feature an HIV research panel of top experts discussing HIV and aging issues in our community.   

September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day — a day to call attention to the growing number of people living long and full lives with HIV and to aging-related challenges of HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care.    

The virtual conference is free to attendees and open to the public. Presented by Eisenhower Health, this year's event is the result of a unique collaboration among local service providers and organizations focused on improving the shared experience of older adults living with HIV.  

People with HIV are living longer lives, thanks to advancements in scientific research and medical treatments; today, about half of HIV positive individuals in the U.S. are age 50 and above. Aging persons living with HIV have experienced tremendous loss, stigma, and discrimination throughout their lifetime and within the healthcare system.  In comparison to similar HIV-negative populations, individuals aging with HIV may experience an early onset of aging complications such as neurocognitive decline, impaired physical function, frailty, and falls.    

Karl Schmid, the entertainment reporter for ABC7 LA will speak on HIV and the media. The ABC reporter, who came out as HIV Positive in 2018, uses his multimedia platform, +Life, to educate and combat HIV stigma.  

At ABC7, Karl has been a regular contributor since 2013, joining the team as a correspondent and producer on the then-weekly and syndicated "On The Red Carpet." 

A passionate activist in the fight against HIV stigma, Schmid launched +Life (www.pluslifemedia.com) in 2019 online to help foster a new conversation around what it means for people living with HIV and to tackle the stigma still associated with the virus. +Life is also part of Localish TV on the newly launched Localish TV network. 

"HIV is not killing people but stigma is, and this is what needs to change," Schmid said in a statement. "We need to talk more about HIV and its advancements, about what U=U means, and we should not be stigmatized by society. 

"We need to have more information on mainstream media about how you contract HIV, prevention and treatments available so that people stop stigmatizing those that are positive and realize that anyone can have HIV and live a completely normal and healthy life."  

Since coming out as HIV-positive, Schmid has used his platform to educate and fight bias.  

Keynote speaker Andy Bell of Erasure fame will share his personal story. Bell is a founding member of Erasure.  Formed in 1985, when former Depeche Mode and Yazoo member Clarke advertised for a new singer. The duo quickly became enormously successful in the U.K., U.S., and several other countries with hits like “Chains of Love,” “A Little Respect,” and “Oh L’amour.” Now, three decades into their career, they are considered one of the most adored and influential synthpop bands selling more than 25 million records. In 2019, Erasure released their 18th studio album, The Neon. 

Bell has become an icon within the LGBTQ+ community for his honesty, compassion and support. Among his support of various LGBTQ+ causes, Bell has served as an ambassador for New York’s Hetrick-Martin Institute, and he is currently a patron of the Cambridge, England-based charity Diverse and of Above The Stag, London’s only LGBTQ+ theater. 

Topics and speakers:  

  •  Keynote speaker: Andy Bell from Erasure 
  • “Honoring Our Experience” with Gregg Cassin 
  • “KeeLee Meditation” with Dr. Daniel Lee, from the University of California, San Diego's Owen Clinic 
  • “HIV & The Media”: Karl Schmid is the entertainment reporter for ABC7 LA. He recently revealed his HIV status and has been an advocate for U=U as well as breaking down HIV stigma. 
  • HIV research update panel: 
    • Borrego Health: Valerio Iovino, i-Care 
    • DAP Health: Dr. Tulika Singh 
    • Eisenhower Health: Dr. Ken Lichtenstein 
    • Palmtree: Dr. Carlos Martinez 
    • HIV+ Aging Research Project-Palm Springs (HARP-PS): Jeff Taylor  
    • Caregiving with Perry Wiggins from The Center, end-of-life doula Alex Snell, and Richard Bass from PALS (Planning Ahead for LGBTQ Seniors)
    •  “Let’s Kick ASS”: Brian DeVries speaks about sustaining and making new friendships late in life 

What: The Aging Positively — Reunion Project 6th annual HIV conference is a collaboration between the HIV+ Aging Research Project—Palm Springs and other nonprofit community partners. It will be a virtual conference consisting of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels, and presentations led by key researchers, advocates, and long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS.  

When:  The 6th Annual Aging Positively — Reunion Project virtual conference will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2021. 

Where:  Attendees can attend the conference from the digital device of their choice.  In-person elements may be announced later.  

How: Registration is free and open on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hiv-aging-virtual-conference-tickets-162082616469  

Collaborating Organizations:  

ANAC   

The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) is the leading health care organization responding to HIV/AIDS. Since its founding in 1987, ANAC has been meeting the needs of nurses and other healthcare professionals in HIV/AIDS care, research, prevention, and policy.  

 ANAC aims to promote the health and welfare of people affected by HIV/AIDS by:  

  • Creating an effective, engaged network of nurses in AIDS care. 
  • Studying, researching and exchanging information, experiences and ideas leading to improved care and prevention. 
  • Providing leadership to the nursing community in matters related to HIV/AIDS infection and its co-morbidities. 
  • Advocating for effective public policies and quality care for people living with HIV. 
  • Promoting social awareness concerning issues related to HIV/AIDS. 

Borrego Health   

Borrego Health provides high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary health care to the people in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay. They serve these communities and adjoining regions with respect, dignity, and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. Borrego Health is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed (FTCA) facility.  

DAP Health   

At DAP Health, no one wonders if they belong — they just feel it. People can rely on culturally competent and stigma-free care at DAP Health.    

DAP Health offers medical and mental healthcare tailored to patients and clients by clinicians who listen to them. DAP Health has been meeting the diverse needs or its community since 1984, and it offers culturally competent care with no stigma about a person’s race, being LGBTQ+, or living with HIV. By actively listening, we can offer people care and services that meet their unique needs.     

  • Sexual wellness — DAP Health’s Orange Clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.
  •  Thriving with HIV and ending the epidemic — DAP Health helps patients living with HIV thrive by staying healthy, undetectable and untransmittable to others. They become part of DAP Health's family beginning with testing, linkage into care, and then being enrolled in medical and mental healthcare, dentistry, social services, and prescription access. 
  • Mental health services — DAP Health offers individual and group therapy and has a substance abuse program that emphasizes recovery and relapse prevention. Mental health is health — no stigma, no shame. It just takes seeing a person truly where he/she/they are in their personal journey. 
  • Ongoing primary care — Join more than 9,700 patients who enjoy culturally competent care from clinicians and care teams who become like family. DAP Health's team works with patients to coordinate their care and ensure they have everything they need to stay healthy.  

Eisenhower Health  

Eisenhower HIV Clinic: Recognizing the complex health care needs of the LGBTQ patient population, Eisenhower Medical Center offers a comprehensive range of clinical, research and education resources — starting with a team of dedicated primary care doctors who have exceptional experience and expertise.  

Eisenhower HIV Clinic Primary Care Services: Providing state-of-the-art care for HIV patients requires knowledge of the latest treatments and best practices in the detection and treatment of HIV. Eisenhower's HIV Primary Care program is focused on the overall health of each patient, including:  

  • Appropriate utilization of advances in HIV care to sustain the best possible quality of life, including appropriate STD and cancer screening as well as healthy aging  
  • Best practices to prevent the spread of HIV  
  •  Compassionate access to new medicines for highly drug-resistant patients  
  • Our team includes HIV primary care doctors Board Certified in Internal Medicine or Family Medicine, with an additional certification as an HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM).  
  • Eisenhower Health is proud to collaborate with many nonprofit organizations here in the Coachella Valley providing HIV and related healthcare services, through partnership connectivity of services, referrals, and education.  

HARP-PS   

The HIV+ Aging Research Project-Palm Springs is a grassroots community non-profit that conducts research and provides education to improve the quality of life for long-term HIV survivors in the Coachella Valley. They collaborate with academic partners throughout Southern California and nationally to conduct socio-behavioral research on issues like resiliency and COVID-19 affecting HIV survivors. They hold monthly provider events to provide education on HIV Treatment issues, and they held monthly COVID Rounds during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also provide the monthly Positive Life HIV education series with topics and speakers tailored to the unique needs of their HIV survivor community. They created the annual Reunion Project daylong regional seminar to bring together the HIV and aging community in Southern California. Last year they combined forces with DAP Health and other community partners on the Aging Positively-Reunion Project event, which is held each year on or around HIV and Aging Awareness Day on September 18.    

Jewish Family Service of the Desert 

Since its inception as part of the Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and Desert Area in 1982, JFS has grown—not just in size, but in its ability to serve the people of the Coachella Valley. Beginning as a small group of volunteers who checked in on seniors and disabled people who lived alone, JFS Desert has evolved into an organization of professionals and volunteers that provide a broad range of support and services to thousands of Coachella Valley residents each year.  

JFS Desert’s experienced case managers can assist in exploring potential resources. They will assess clients’ eligibility for services and programs and can help facilitate the application process to obtain benefits and support. JFS case managers are a resource for the Coachella Valley, providing emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness. JFS also works with local and county organizations to advocate for the rights of seniors in the valley. The JFS case management team takes a holistic service approach, collaborating with internal departments to ensure clients’ needs are addressed. We are dedicated to making sure that mental health issues and affordable housing stay front and center for our valley citizens.   

Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs 

Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs is an inclusive social group seeking to reduce the stresses of AIDS Survivor Syndrome. They welcome members regardless of HIV status, race, gender, age, or sexuality, believing that the individual is the best judge of the impact of HIV on their life. LKAPS organizes social functions providing opportunities to develop friendships and community.  

They support education and advocacy to raise awareness of AIDS Survivor Syndrome, long-term survivors, and the challenges they face.  

People feel better when engaged in social activity. LKAPS helps long-term survivors overcome isolation by creating social opportunities. From their popular monthly potlucks, twice-monthly coffee socials, bowling team, and movie nights, to now-established annual events such as June 5's Long-term Survivors Day reception and the Thanksgiving Day feast, LKAPS benefits its members through engagement with their local community of HIV survivors.  

PALS  

PALS (Planning Ahead for LGBTQ Seniors) is a volunteer-led community initiative based in Palm Springs that helps LGBTQ+ adults and friends plan ahead before a health or other life-altering situation arises.   

Having a plan in place mitigates stress and anxiety, ensures that LGBTQ+ adults are in control of their future care and legacy, and relieves the burden on family and friends.  

The Center   

At The Center, they like to say they create vibrant community by helping LGBTQ+ people along their way, wherever they might be in life’s journey. Even better, The Center likes to live it, breathe it, and do it. If someone is looking to meet new friends, get resources, or enrich their life and their place in community, they have come to the right place.  

Based in the Coachella Valley, The Center serves people of all ages, totaling more than 70,000 visits annually. How do they attract so many people? They do it with meaningful, relevant and mission-focused programming that addresses three strategic initiatives:  

  •   Ending isolation and loneliness  
  •   Connecting people to resources and community  
  •   Enriching individual and collective experiences 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.      

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health also is working to address the social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.  

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year — landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.     

 

DAP Health to open registration for Dese …

Desert AIDS Walk

DAP Health to open registration for Desert AIDS Walk 2021  

By Steven Henke

More than 2,000 local humanitarians will come together to end the HIV epidemic, expand healthcare access, and remember those friends and family members who we lost because of AIDS.   

The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk will be an in-person event Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, beginning at Ruth Hardy Park and following a route through downtown Palm Springs. The family and pet-friendly event includes a Health and Wellness Festival presented by Walgreens. Registration opens August 2. 

The annual Desert AIDS Walk helps fund the vital work of DAP Health. “We remain committed to ending the epidemic and caring for people living with HIV. That work includes the vital services we offer, including HIV prevention and specialty care, STI screening and treatment, housing support, benefits navigation, medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. 

This year marks 40 years of HIV with the first reported cases about what would become known as HIV and AIDS published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Brinkman says, “AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help. And as we have learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.” 

Since 1984, residents of the Coachella Valley have been coming together as a community in action caring for those living with and now aging with HIV. DAP Health Chief Development and Strategy Officer Darrell Tucci says, “Desert AIDS Walk brings together the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care they need to live their best lives.”  

After 40 years, public health officials and activists see a pathway to end the AIDS epidemic. It starts with treatment.  

With proper medical care, those living with HIV can reduce the viral load in their blood to an undetectable level. When HIV can’t be detected it can’t be transmitted, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

Health officials and activists are now championing the message that undetectable equals untransmittable, or U=U.   

The U=U campaign also aims to end the stigma around HIV. That stigma keeps too many people from getting tested for HIV or obtaining the care they need to stay healthy. The result of 40 years of research is that people living with HIV can suppress the virus and live long lives with medication.  

A commitment to health equity 

DAP Health’s care team and experts are making a conscious effort to talk about health equity more, because the CDC and the CDPH both say we need health equity for people if we’re going to beat COVID-19. 

“Health equity means that everyone has the opportunity to be healthy based on their needs, not on their ability to pay,” says Brinkman. “It also means no one should feel like an outsider once they come inside to see a doctor or psychologist. 

“But getting people to take that first step can be difficult.” 

Discrimination — against the poor, LGBTQ individuals and racial minorities — also increases the likelihood people will avoid essential care. 

“If you’re told by society over and over again that you’re bad, wrong, inferior and not good enough, then you come to believe it after a while,” says Dr. Jill Gover, a licensed clinical psychologist who leads DAP Health’s Behavioral Health department. “And with the inadequacy comes shame.” 

“The intersection of oppression and poverty can create feelings of unworthiness, which are barriers to care,” she says. 

To break down these barriers, DAP Health is making it easier for people to ask for help in several important ways. DAP Health has culturally competent doctors and therapists who can see patients from home, or onsite at the DAP campus. Social-services access has also been expanded for help with life essentials during this pandemic. 

DAP Health’s dedication to cultural humility has its care team leaning in to get to know their patients, instead of assuming a one-size-fits-all approach works. 

 

DAP Health to open registration for Desert AIDS Walk 2021  

By Steven Henke

More than 2,000 local humanitarians will come together to end the HIV epidemic, expand healthcare access, and remember those friends and family members who we lost because of AIDS.   

The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk will be an in-person event Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, beginning at Ruth Hardy Park and following a route through downtown Palm Springs. The family and pet-friendly event includes a Health and Wellness Festival presented by Walgreens. Registration opens August 2. 

The annual Desert AIDS Walk helps fund the vital work of DAP Health. “We remain committed to ending the epidemic and caring for people living with HIV. That work includes the vital services we offer, including HIV prevention and specialty care, STI screening and treatment, housing support, benefits navigation, medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. 

This year marks 40 years of HIV with the first reported cases about what would become known as HIV and AIDS published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Brinkman says, “AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help. And as we have learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.” 

Since 1984, residents of the Coachella Valley have been coming together as a community in action caring for those living with and now aging with HIV. DAP Health Chief Development and Strategy Officer Darrell Tucci says, “Desert AIDS Walk brings together the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care they need to live their best lives.”  

After 40 years, public health officials and activists see a pathway to end the AIDS epidemic. It starts with treatment.  

With proper medical care, those living with HIV can reduce the viral load in their blood to an undetectable level. When HIV can’t be detected it can’t be transmitted, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

Health officials and activists are now championing the message that undetectable equals untransmittable, or U=U.   

The U=U campaign also aims to end the stigma around HIV. That stigma keeps too many people from getting tested for HIV or obtaining the care they need to stay healthy. The result of 40 years of research is that people living with HIV can suppress the virus and live long lives with medication.  

A commitment to health equity 

DAP Health’s care team and experts are making a conscious effort to talk about health equity more, because the CDC and the CDPH both say we need health equity for people if we’re going to beat COVID-19. 

“Health equity means that everyone has the opportunity to be healthy based on their needs, not on their ability to pay,” says Brinkman. “It also means no one should feel like an outsider once they come inside to see a doctor or psychologist. 

“But getting people to take that first step can be difficult.” 

Discrimination — against the poor, LGBTQ individuals and racial minorities — also increases the likelihood people will avoid essential care. 

“If you’re told by society over and over again that you’re bad, wrong, inferior and not good enough, then you come to believe it after a while,” says Dr. Jill Gover, a licensed clinical psychologist who leads DAP Health’s Behavioral Health department. “And with the inadequacy comes shame.” 

“The intersection of oppression and poverty can create feelings of unworthiness, which are barriers to care,” she says. 

To break down these barriers, DAP Health is making it easier for people to ask for help in several important ways. DAP Health has culturally competent doctors and therapists who can see patients from home, or onsite at the DAP campus. Social-services access has also been expanded for help with life essentials during this pandemic. 

DAP Health’s dedication to cultural humility has its care team leaning in to get to know their patients, instead of assuming a one-size-fits-all approach works. 

 

Entertainment Announced for 2021 Steve C …

Contact:
Jack Bunting
jbunting@daphealth.org
(760) 656-8472

Entertainment Announced for 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards  

Honoring the art of caring on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 9, 2021 starting at 5:30 p.m. PT 

DAP Health is pleased to announce that this year’s entertainment lineup for the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will feature wickedly talented vocalists, known to be dreams to work with. Broadway will hit a high note for health equity in our Valley as it honors community in action on Mother’s Day 2021. 

Broadway Entertainers We Know and Love

This year’s entertainers celebrate the spirit to step forward, even during a pandemic:

Shoshana Bean is a veteran of the Broadway stage having debuted in the original cast of “Hairspray” and starred as first replacement for Elphaba, the green-skinned witch, in “Wicked”. She also played Jenna Hunterson in “Waitress”. She has performed alongside Brian McKnight, Bebe Winans, and she sang back up for Michael Jackson.

Sheryl Lee Ralph is a triple-threat. Her award-winning work includes creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Sheryl returned to Broadway as Madame Morrible in “Wicked” making her the first African American actress to take on the classic role on Broadway.  Ms. Ralph has been a tireless advocate for people with HIV for decades.

A Special Appearance by Hometown Gem

Keisha D is a cabaret chanteuse and local humanitarian icon. Her roles have included the Acid Queen in "Tommy," the fairy godmother in "Cinderella" and Motor Mouth Mabel in "Hairspray". She established the Keisha D Music Scholarship, an endowment through the Palm Springs Unified School District Foundation that grants scholarships to minority students interested in pursuing an education in music and performing arts.

Keisha D is celebrated for her work with the Black and LGBTQ communities in Palm Springs. 

“This year we are honoring women, mothers, and all of our frontline workers,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “Their tireless work for HIV care, COVID relief, and access to ongoing healthcare is improving the public health at a time when we need it the most.”

Scott Nevins Repeats Role as Host 

The event will be hosted by TV personality and OUT100 Honoree, Scott Nevins. He co-produced and hosted DAP’s Voices of Hope in 2020. He is best known or being one of the original cast members and breakout stars of Bravo TV’s series “The People’s Couch”, and truTV’s hit show “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest…” Mr. Nevins is also a DAP Health Board member.

Great Dining Still Part of Experience

This year we invite everyone to enhance their Steve Chase experience while supporting our local restaurant community. On May 9, we hope you will order take-out or to dine in at one of the following 10 eateries before the show begins broadcast on NBC Palm Springs at 5:30 PM PT. DAP Health’s social media channels (Facebook, YouTube or Twitter) will also broadcast the event at that time.

Are you a past Dining Out For Life participating restaurant? If you would like to be included in this listing, please call James Lindquist at (760) 656-8413.

More about 27th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

Find Out Why Hope Begins with Health 

The economic impact of COVID on our community is not just a change in financial circumstances. The implications have far-reaching consequences on medical and mental health. Click here to explore our Hope Begins with Health campaign and find out how DAP Health is meeting the needs of our patients and clients during this pandemic, and how you can help. 

Registration is open: The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is May 9, 2021.  Click here to register and keep up to date on all the details, celebrity entertainment, online auction opportunities and more. 

You can participate by tuning into NBC Palm Springs or by joining us on any of DAP Health’s social media channels (Facebook, YouTube or Twitter).   

DAP Health and community sponsors reimagined the 27th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards as a digital experience that will honor this community’s legacy of giving and the compassion of its namesake, all in a format that made safe and accessible for everyone.   

“Making health equity a priority in this Valley through this pandemic calls for us to remember the spirit and lessons we learned from Steve Chase,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “DAP Health continues to be guided by his example of activism and giving, which saves and changes lives today.” 

Themes in 2021 Serve the Greater Good 

This year’s awards are a celebration of the Hope Begins with Health campaign — a $2 million fundraising initiative to propel DAP Health’s frontline work. 

Our ever-expanding patient population needs us to focus on: health equity, COVID, mental health, and ending HIV.  

Health Equity Means Access  

Experts warn us that too many people are falling out of essential medical and mental healthcare, but throughout 2021 DAP Health is offering them solutions tailored for these times.  

  • Public health outreach to isolated patients will connect them to care based on need and not wealth, 
  • Added resource navigators will help more people access care with insurance, plus help with everyday living essentials,  
  • Mobile medical services will serve a wider patient population, 
  • Added home services will keep more patients feeling self-sufficient.  

RELATED: Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

RELATED: The 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

Increasing Access Takes a Commitment to Cultural Humility  

We understand that cultural humility calls for us to be more curious, and much less set in our ways. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to accessing and engaging in healthcare, DAP Health believes that each person deserves a connection that works for them.   

To do this, we constantly examine our approaches. We lean in and get to know the cultural and social realities of our patients and clients by actively listening, so that we can offer them care and services that meet their unique needs.  

DAP Health has been bringing people in the Coachella Valley health and inclusion since 1984 by identifying new and emerging public health needs of people who face disparities in accessing care, especially due to race, class and economic circumstance. 

Especially now, the intersection of race and health equity is one of the most important public health challenges facing this Valley and this nation.  

Meeting the diverse needs or our community takes a lifelong commitment to question our own approaches, and the willingness to evolve.  

DAP Health was born out desperate need for innovation, which is why our history is one worth remembering and emulating. It calls for us to always be ready to embrace change, to continue making everyone feel welcome and wanted at DAP Health. 

COVID Response 

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID Clinics and over 9,700 patients have been seen. These services will continue, and in 2021 DAP is working to improve many social determinants of health that are preventing so many from better health outcomes during this pandemic. 

Food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to healthcare can have a considerable effect on COVID outcomes, compounded by factors like race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ status. (CDC) 

DAP Health joins with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to declare that beating COVID will require solutions that promote health equity. 

Behavioral Health Expansion 

Building health equity has always included restoring the sense of belonging that many people lose because they are different. Homophobia, racism, and COVID fatigue are top challenges causing isolation for many people. Health experts warn that this is a serious health risk.  

Throughout 2021 the DAP Health Behavioral Health department is doubling its capacity to see patients for individual and group therapy by California licensed clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.  

Thriving with HIV and Ending the Epidemic 

DAP has the region’s largest team of HIV-specialized doctors with expertise in aging and thriving with HIV, and although the word “AIDS” no longer appears in the DAP Health logo, providing care to people with HIV (PWH), and ending the HIV epidemic, remain core to DAP Health.  

Despite COVID, providing more HIV testing and better treatment for PWH remains essential to ending the HIV pandemic. We will continue offering free self HIV-test kits to anyone who requests one.  

We are cutting the time between diagnoses of HIV and entry into care for patients in 2021, and are making medication available quicker, a move to prevent people from falling out of care. We know this will also help decrease HIV transmission rates. 

Patients can count on us to help them stay healthy and untransmittable to others. They become part of the DAP Health family beginning with testing, to linkage into care, and then being enrolled in medical and mental healthcare, dentistry, social services, and prescription access.  

About Scott Nevins

Scott Nevins Scott is also an award-winning host, TV/Radio personality, writer, comedian, entertainment/political news contributor, LGBTQ & HIV awareness activist and producer. You can follow Scott on Twitter and instagram (@ScottNevins), and on Facebook (facebook.com/OfficialScottNevins)

About DAP Health  

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 9,700 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.      

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health is also working to improve social determinants of health to prevent negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.  

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

The DAP Health Research Program is a leader in research that supports better health outcomes for people with HIV (PWH). The Program offers The ANCHOR Study at DAP Health, and research studies exploring antiretroviral medication and the effects of wellness on health.

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

 

 
 

 

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chas …

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards  

Honoring the art of caring on Sunday May 9, 2021 starting at 5:30 p.m. PT 

DAP Health and community sponsors will host the 27th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, reimagined this year as a digital experience that will honor this community’s legacy of giving and the compassion of its namesake, all in a format that made safe and accessible for everyone.   

Registration is open: The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is May 9, 2021. Click here to register and keep up to date on all the details, celebrity entertainment, online auction opportunities and more. 

You can participate by tuning into NBC Palm Springs or by joining us on any of DAP Health's social media channels (Facebook, YouTube or Twitter).  

DAP Health’s largest fundraising event is in its 27th year and is named for one of our earliest financial supporters, the designer Steve Chase.   

“Making health equity a priority in this Valley through this pandemic calls for us to remember the spirit and lessons we learned from Steve Chase,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “DAP Health continues to be guided by his example of activism and giving, which saves and changes lives today. 

Themes in 2021 Serve the Greater Good 

This year's awards are a celebration of the Hope Begins With Health campaign — a $2 million fundraising initiative to propel DAP Health's frontline work. 

Our ever-expanding patient population needs us to focus on: health equity, COVID, mental health, and ending HIV.  

Health Equity Means Access  

Experts warn us that too many people are falling out of essential medical and mental healthcare, but throughout 2021 DAP Health is offering them solutions tailored for these times.  

  • Public health outreach to isolated patients will connect them to care based on need and not wealth, 
  • Added resource navigators will help more people access care with insurance, plus help with everyday living essentials,  
  • Mobile medical services will serve a wider patient population, 
  • Added home services will keep more patients feeling self-sufficient.  

Increasing Access Takes a Commitment to Cultural Humility  

We understand that cultural humility calls for us to be more curious, and much less set in our ways. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to accessing and engaging in healthcare, DAP Health believes that each person deserves a connection that works for them.   

To do this, we constantly examine our approaches. We lean in and get to know the cultural and social realities of our patients and clients by actively listening, so that we can offer them care and services that meet their unique needs 

DAP Health has been bringing people in the Coachella Valley health and inclusion since 1984 by identifying new and emerging public health needs of people who face disparities in accessing care, especially due to race, class and economic circumstance. 

Especially now, the intersection of race and health equity is one of the most important public health challenges facing this Valley and this nation 

Meeting the diverse needs or our community takes a lifelong commitment to question our own approaches, and the willingness to evolve.  

DAP Health was born out desperate need for innovation, which is why our history is one worth remembering and emulating. It calls for us to always be ready to embrace change, to continue making everyone feel welcome and wanted at DAP Health. 

COVID Response 

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID Clinics and over 9,700 patients have been seen. These services will continue, and in 2021 DAP is working to improve many social determinants of health that are preventing so many from better health outcomes during this pandemic. 

Food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to healthcare can have a considerable effect on COVID outcomes, compounded by factors like race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ status. (CDC) 

DAP Health joins with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to declare that beating COVID will require solutions that promote health equity. 

Behavioral Health Expansion 

Building health equity has always included restoring the sense of belonging that many people lose because they are different. Homophobia, racism, and COVID fatigue are top challenges causing isolation for many people. Health experts warn that this is a serious health risk 

Throughout 2021  the DAP Health Behavioral Health department is doubling its capacity to see patients for individual and group therapy by California licensed clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.  

Thriving with HIV and Ending the Epidemic 

DAP has the region’s largest team of HIV-specialized doctors with expertise in aging and thriving with HIV, and although the word “AIDS” no longer appears in the DAP Health logo, providing care to people with HIV (PWH), and ending the HIV epidemic, remain core to DAP Health.  

Despite COVID, providing more HIV testing and better treatment for PWH remains essential to ending the HIV pandemic. We will continue offering free self HIV-test kits to anyone who requests one.  

We are cutting the time between diagnoses of HIV and entry into care for patients in 2021, and are making medication available quicker, a move to prevent people from falling out of care. We know this will also help decrease HIV transmission rates. 

Patients can count on us to help them stay healthy and untransmittable to others. They become part of the DAP Health family beginning with testing, to linkage into care, and then being enrolled in medical and mental healthcare, dentistry, social services, and prescription access.  

Find Out Why Hope Begins with Health 

The economic impact of COVID on our community is not just a change in financial circumstances. The implications have far-reaching consequences on medical and mental health. Click here to explore our Hope Begins With Health campaign and find out how DAP Health is meeting the needs of our patients and clients during this pandemic, and how you can help. 

About DAP Health  

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over  9,700 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.      

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.  

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

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Carrying on Traditions of Togetherness

Carrying on Traditions of Togetherness

DAP Health Insights – Monday February 8, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO 

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2021 Are Here 

Registration is open: The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is Sunday, May 9, 2021. Click here to register and keep up to date on all the details, celebrity entertainment, online auction opportunities and more.  

To keep making health equity a priority in this Valley during COVID, we are inspired by the spirit and lessons we learned from Steve Chase. DAP Health continues to be guided by his example of activism and giving, responsible for saving and changing lives today.  

Coming Together for Housing Access 

Keeping everyone safer during COVID means the County cancelled its yearly unsheltered homeless point-in-time count, but we know the numbers are rising when it comes to people in our community who need help.  

Shortages and outsized rents keep many from accessing stable and affordable housing, and the pandemic’s effect on our economy is going to make this get worse. 

Our work with the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition to soon build 61 affordable housing units on our campus shows us that we can make bold changes by coming together. You can read more here. 

Revivals After-Dark Event Raised Funds a …

Revivals After-Dark Event Raised Funds and Evoked Origins of DAP 

Mental health advocacy and patient access were focus

(Palm Springs, CA) November 19, 2020 -- This community raised $6,000 in the first hour as it shopped last Sunday for all things leather at the Revivals After Dark Back Alley Event.

Volunteers worked to make the event safe, so that everyone attending could focus on finding incredible deals on a variety of leather clothing, plus accessories, erotic art and literature. These items are donated to Revivals Stores throughout the year and put aside for this special occasion.

Hosting the event outdoors was the right thing to do for safety, and it also created an urban feel that was enhanced with upbeat music as people shopped.

“We did this to say thank you to the Leather Community also,” says Michael McCartney, Revivals area manager. “From day one they have been a major part of Revivals.”

For some, it was an opportunity to experience a popular gay subculture that can be intimidating and costly as well.

“This event gives people who want to explore leather, kink, and fetish, but who don’t want to invest too much money up front,” says Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020.  “They get to dip their toe in the water.”

There is more to it than that, he says.

“We’re providing a sex-positive environment that welcomes everyone to come together while we raise money for healthcare access and mental health awareness,” Charlie says.

Volunteers Hosted and Monitored Safety

Revivals volunteer Mark Musin is usually running the lamps department, but he and about 40 other volunteers pulled together and set up a browsing experience that put safety and spaciousness first.

“We used more tables than I thought we would, and we put more space in between them for social distancing,” he says.

Mark and the team placed all of the art for sale facing in one direction, a move to help guide the flow of people walking without getting too close.

“We did the same thing with books and accessories,” Mark says. “We could not have anyone feeling as though they were crowded.”

Throughout the event Mark and the team used mobile devices to monitor crowd size and report in with each other.  From inside the Palm Springs Revivals store and throughout the back alley, volunteers were ensuring everything was orderly, although guests were already eager to comply with safety guidelines.

“Customers know we take safety seriously, and they are supportive,” Mark says.

And not just at the Leather Event.

“Every morning there is a line before the store opens, and it’s because Revivals customers know it is safe.” Mark says.

Raising Awareness for Mental Health Advocacy

Taking a community approach for mental health advocacy, DAP co-sponsored this pop-up event to support work by Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020, and his organization to bring more people into services they need.

“I try to help people understand and get past the stigma of mental illness,” he says.

While mental health challenges disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ people, the CDC says COVID is increasing them for everyone and overwhelming communities.

According to Charlie, when someone is struggling with a mental health challenge, everyone in their life needs to be united in providing support. He educates the leather community on the red flags that someone who is struggling may display, and how to offer help to that person.

“To help people feel better, you need your doctors, the support groups, the families and friends all to be supportive of each other,” Charlie says. “To improve quality of life.”

After years of raising awareness for more LGBTQ+ mental health access, Charlie believes it is finally translating into more available services locally, as advocates and health experts continue pointing to alarming statistics.

“The LGBTQ+ community has led the way in calling attention to it because of our higher suicide rates and societal negativity that is still in place around coming out,” he says. “But we are starting to see support groups and mental health services available, and it will increase the quality of life for everybody who struggles.”

Getting past stigma, towards understanding

“You tell people you have diabetes and they’re ok, but you say you are bipolar, and they immediately take pause,” Charlie says.

Stigma around mental illness can keep people from seeking services. But by openly sharing about his life with bipolar disorder, Charlie helps bring hope to others who are struggling. Describing the feelings can help people understand.

“It’s feeling like you rule the world,” he says. “And then, feeling like it’s about to end.”

He also describes how confusing it can be if friends and family don’t understand what mental health challenges look like.

“You’ll see someone who seems to be the life of the party,” he says, “And you cannot understand why they might have such mood swings and get so low.”

The alley has a very special significance to DAP 

Decades ago in an office above, a group of off-duty medical professionals would meet AIDS patients at night to administer treatments in an era when HIV was still a mystery and conventional healthcare providers in the area were forbidden from treating people with AIDS. This was the beginning of Desert AIDS Project.

It seemed fitting that in the midst of another pandemic, volunteers were once again using the space for an unintended purpose--to promote the welfare of the community.

About Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020

As Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020, Charlie hopes to further issues important to him and our community such as sex positivity, mental health support, and gender diversity. He is developing a mental health initiative "Charlie Harding's Angel Project in Service," also known as CHAPS, and working towards eliminating the stigma attached to mental illness. Find out more at mrpalmspringsleather.com.

About Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert 

PSLOD welcomes community members to explore membership in our organization. All new members are required to complete a pledge process prior to assuming the duties of a PSLOD General Member. Find out more at pslod.org. 

About Revivals

The very first Revivals store was opened in 1995, in a back corner of the Desert AIDS Project office on Vella Road. Since those earliest days, the funds raised through selling donated goods at Revivals has gone back to support client services at D.A.P., while also providing a great volunteer opportunity for those who wanted to support the organization with their time and retail talents. Today, all of the stores are largely volunteer-run, enabling Revivals to make a significant financial contribution to the annual budget of Desert AIDS Project, which has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the U.S. Learn more at www.revivalsstores.com.

About DAP Health

DAP Health (DAP) is a humanitarian health center in Palm Springs, CA serving more than 8,000 people, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other health and wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.org to learn more.

Revivals Stores Celebrating 25 Years Rei …

Revivals Stores Celebrating 25 Years

Reinventing resale to raise millions for DAP 

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

PALM SPRINGS, CA- October 30, 2020 – Revivals Stores, with locations in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs marks its 25th anniversary in business this month.  From its beginning as one store on Vela Rd. near the Palm Springs Airport in 1995, Revivals continues to keep customers, volunteers, and donors coming back, even during this health crisis.

Promotion to Thank Shoppers

To celebrate more than two decades of support and excellent shopping deals, Revivals Stores is inviting everyone to “Join the Treasure Hunt” and enjoy 50% OFF on select items throughout its stores beginning November 1 and extending through the 25th.

These special sale items will have a Revivals 25th Anniversary sticker on them and will be from Revivals new and resale inventory from all store departments.

Known for influencing Coachella Valley resale industry by combining vintage and retail, Revivals is well known for affordability, discoverability, and its commitment to community. 

100% of Revivals Stores profits (about $1 million annually) support comprehensive healthcare for the 7,000 residents of the Coachella Valley who call DAP their healthcare home.

The resale store chain’s broad community of generous donors guarantees a steady supply of stellar resale merchandise alongside brand-new furniture and home décor. 

Early Safety Modifications Paid Off

A major funding source for DAP Health, Revivals Stores implemented COVID safety measures over weeks of planning during the early months of the crisis. They include social distancing markers throughout the stores and some minor policy changes. To keep safety a priority, fitting rooms were closed, returns are no longer accepted, and customers now bag their own products unless it is a larger item that requires assistance.

“We quickly focused on how we could provide shoppers a safe Revivals experience,” says Dane Koch, DAP director of retail.  “Acting early has led to us being able to keep our doors open today and into the future.”

Volunteers Make Revivals Special

The retailer is also celebrating the volunteers who make Revivals a unique shopping experience. 

“For twenty-five years, volunteers at Revivals have been changing the world, one hour at a time,” says Marci Lerner, volunteer coordinator for Revivals Stores.  “We asked them to share why they donate their time and talent – the reasons are as unique as the volunteers themselves.”   

  • “As a retired IRS Agent, I like the focus and responsibility volunteering provides me.  It is especially important during COVID to keep my life on a steady keel.” - Steve S
  • "Volunteering provides me a unique opportunity to give back to an organization that has done and still is unreserved in its support of those who live with HIV and AIDS.  They have been a beacon of hope for so long.  It is a small, yet significant way for Revivals to continue to champion the needs of the community.” - Gary
  • "Volunteering helps me to feel part of the greater picture of supporting those in need.  It also enables me to use my skills to help others.  In addition, the social interaction and attention to detail assists in building cognitive strength.” - Guy
  • "Due to COVID, I’m unemployed and for the first time I have time to give back to my community.” - Sue
  • "Volunteering gives me purpose.  Revivals is the best volunteer organization.  What DAP services provide to clients is par none.  And the treatment of volunteers is amazing at Revivals.” - John

Revivals Stores Roots Are in Making Healthcare Attainable

The financial contribution that Revivals Stores provides to DAP Health is more important today than ever before, according to David Brinkman, CEO. 

“The AIDS crisis taught us that a community response is the most effective response if we want to address gaps in healthcare,” he said. “When people are in need and in fear, we must remember our humanity and take a place on the front lines.”

As DAP continues fighting to end HIV in the Coachella Valley, it has is also addressing healthcare inequities affecting the poor, which COVID has increased.

The Mystique of Revivals Stores

Revivals is reinventing resale, adding brand new items at affordable prices.  Selling never-used items such as bedding is old hat for the 25-year-old retailer; it’s been doing that for more than a decade-and-a-half. But five years ago, the decision was made to get into the new home décor business. Today, locals vote Revivals ‘Best Furniture Store’ because of its affordable collection of trend-right items. A leader in retail,  Revivals is the only thrift shop in America to feature its own brand of new furniture, lighting, rugs, and accessories. Shoppers at Revivals can choose from brand new furniture and accessories while mixing their new style with thrift store finds from the decade of their choice. 

“We saw a real need in the valley for merchandise that was stylish, had good quality and was affordable,” adds Dane Koch, director of retail. 

Revivals offers home furnishing from more than 50 vendors—including brand names such as Ashley, Diamond, and Coaster—but much of its inventory is custom-made for the store, and all of its selections fall under Revivals’ Mode label. While the Palm Springs shop focuses on all things midcentury modern, the Cathedral City branch trades on value, and the Palm Desert outlets’ assortment is more traditional in style. 

About Revivals Stores  

Revivals has three locations: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert.  The stores are staffed by 180 volunteers who support the mission of Desert AIDS Project (DAP), enabling Revivals to make an annual $1 million contribution to DAP. DAP has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the United States. Revivals employees and dedicated volunteers create a unique retail experience for the 29,000 people who shop the stores each month looking for a unique thrift store find while shopping brand new furniture and accessories. “There’s an excitement in our stores that you don’t feel at traditional retailers.  Part of that is the thrill of the hunt, but there’s something else happening and I think that is connection to community.  Our volunteers have created a unique community of neighbors helping neighbors inside Revivals three store locations.  They know we are selling product with a purpose,” says Director of Brand Marketing, Steven Henke. 

Greater Palm Springs residents know and love Revivals Stores and have voted it as Best Resale \ Thrift \ Furniture \ Consignment\ or Vintage Clothing Store in four local reader contests this year.   Revivals Stores won Best Furniture Store and Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Sun’s 2019 Ultimate Pride Contest, Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Magazine’s 2019 Best of the Valley, Best Thrift Store in CV Independents 2019 Best of Coachella Valley Contest, Best Thrift Store in GED Magazines 2019 Out Awards Contest, and Best Consignment / Best Thrift Store and Best Vintage Clothing Store in Palm Springs Life’s 2018 Best of the Best Contest.  

 
 Visit to learn more: desertaidsproject.org and revivalsstores.com 

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Desert AIDS Walk 2020 Is This Weekend

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 Is This Weekend

Media Alert

What:              Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is this weekend.

When:             Saturday and Sunday, October 23 & 24, 2020.

Where:            Online plus walk routes in Palm Springs and surrounding desert cities.

How:                Go to desertaidswalk.org for information and registration.

Why:                DAP needs community support for programs that offer our community:

          • Healthcare Access for All 
          • HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care 
          • COVID-19 Clinic 

Health & Wellness Virtual Forum
Brought to you by Walgreens

Learn more about DAP's programs and services, our sponsors, and community partners. Since we can't inform, educate, and entertain in person we created a virtual forum for you to learn more about DAP's programs and services, our dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of our partners. We'll send you a link before the virtual doors open.

Multiple Ways to Walk your Walk

We invite you to walk the familiar route that traditionally kicks off at Ruth Hardy Park where you might see a few surprises, but there are so many wonderful parks and trails across the Coachella Valley, why not visit one or more. Walking is good for the heart and soul. Click here to download the Ruth Hardy route. Suggested parks and trails in other neighborhoods include:

Demuth Park (Palm Springs)

Panorama Park (Cathedral City)

Guy J. Tedesco Park (Desert Hot Springs)

Michael S. Wolfson Park "Butler-Abrams Trail" (Rancho Mirage)

Civic Center Park (Palm Desert)

Bagdouma Park (Coachella)

South Jackson Park (Indio)

Capture and share your HOPE

Along the way there are plenty of opportunities for walkers to safely take selfies, like at new art installations, or designated stops to say hello to local businesses—all with the intention of sharing messages of HOPE via social media. 

In many ways, Desert AIDS Walk has always been virtual.  When it began thirty-four years ago, the first organizers say they did not know if the community would support it, but they knew the only way forward was together. Support from was instant, and their HOPE started to grow.  

 When walkers register, they will be given three clear reasons to walk in 2020:   

    • Healthcare Access for All 
    • HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care 
    • COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.    

Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way For COVID Response

Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that helps people with HIV. 

Thirty-four years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID-19 Triage Clinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today's crisis.  

 
Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains: "By opening one of California's first COVID clinics, DAP made a choice.  We are survivors; fear cannot rule us; when crisis sets it, we step forward."  

  • We have the ability to end epidemics, including HIV and COVID 
  • We integrate Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment as critical components of Primary Care 
  • We address Social Determinates of Health, including racism and poverty, through our inclusive model of healthcare. 

With the ongoing courage and support of this community, our organization thrives.    

The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it’s understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone.  But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response.  It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help.   

And as we’ve learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.     You can find out more at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.org to learn more.

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Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Media Contacts:

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

Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
760-656-8401

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020 

Palm Springs, CA (September 8, 2020) – It’s that time of year again, and AIDS Walk 2020 is an exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about ending AIDS and opening up healthcare for all to carry on this important and life affirming tradition.  

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 will last for two days and will span cities across the Coachella Valley, October 23 & 24.

Festivities include an online wellness forum. This is an opportunity for entertainment and to learn more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

Walk routes in surrounding desert cities are also offered, a new feature that lets everyone participate in Desert AIDS Walk 2020 while getting out and enjoying their own communities.  More info is at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org

This year, the traditional Palm Springs route remains a favorite pathway, and it’s been mapped out and is available for download.  

Capture and share your HOPE

Along the way there are plenty of opportunities for walkers to safely take selfies, like at new art installations, or designated stops to say hello to local businesses—all with the intention of sharing messages of HOPE via social media. 

In many ways, Desert AIDS Walk has always been virtual.  When it began thirty-four years ago, the first organizers say they did not know if the community would support it, but they knew the only way forward was together. Support from was instant, and their HOPE started to grow.  

 When walkers register, they will be given three clear reasons to walk in 2020:   

  • Healthcare Access for All 
  • HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care 
  • COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.    

Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way For COVID Response

Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that helps people with HIV. 

Thirty-four years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID-19 Triage Clinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today's crisis.  

Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains: "By opening one of California's first COVID clinics, DAP made a choice.  We are survivors; fear cannot rule us; when crisis sets it, we step forward."  

  • We have the ability to end epidemics, including HIV and COVID 
  • We integrate Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment as critical components of Primary Care 
  • We address Social Determinates of Health, including racism and poverty, through our inclusive model of healthcare. 

With the ongoing courage and support of this community, our organization thrives.    

The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it’s understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone.  But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response.  It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help.   

And as we’ve learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.     You can find out more at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.org to learn more.

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