Call: (760) 323-2118
8am to 5pm Monday - Friday

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

Funding Infusion for DAP Continuum of HI …

Funding Infusion for DAP Continuum of HIV Care and Testing

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, October 10 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

If 90% of PLWHA begin antiretroviral treatment (ART) early enough, and they are consistently provided care, we will end HIV. Our work to dramatically reduce new HIV infections in the Coachella Valley just received a big boost, thanks to a $1,250,000 grant from the San Bernardino County Human Services Administration Ending the Epidemic Initiative.

Over the five-year grant period, DAP will help reach the initiative’s goal to significantly reduce new HIV infections by 75%.

By sharing our best practices in testing, linkage to care, and keeping patients engaged in care for viral suppression, DAP is influencing improvements in treatment for PLWHA at a national level. 

You can read more here.

Why Darrell Tucci Believes in Desert AIDS Walk 2020

It’s hard to forget your first AIDS Walk, or your reason for participating that first time.  It could be to honor the special connections with people we lost, or because we wish to prevent suffering for someone we’ll never meet.

For some, walking to honor the memory of loved ones is only the beginning. Darrell Tucci, our Chief Development Officer described what led to his commitment and solidarity with others involved with ending the HIV epidemic. You can hear him in this week’s DAP Talks.

DAP In the News

Tour of New Blue and Green Clinics

Even as COVID shines a spotlight on serious healthcare inequalities everywhere, our new Blue and Green Clinics have expanded access to medical and mental care, plus wraparound services.

Our Director of Brand Marketing Steven Henke took NBC Palm Springs’ Taylor Martinez on a tour of the new clinics and talked about our work to continue expanding access during this pandemic.  

Still Made for Walking

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is giving people more ways to feel connected to each other with selfie stops along the traditional Palm Springs route and plenty of space for socially distanced viewing of public art installations from local and international artists. The approach will help walkers reconnect with the beauty of our city in an outdoor setting with safety in mind.

Steven Henke took NBC Palm Springs’ Taylor Martinez on a tour of the walk route, including some of the best selfie spots. 

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Timothy …

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Timothy Ray Brown 1966-2020

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, October 3, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

As of 2019, there were approximately 38 million people across the globe living with HIV / AIDS, and yet we still do not have a cure or a vaccine. (UNAIDS)

Timothy Ray Brown showed us that there is hope for a cure. As he requested, we will keep fighting for one that works for everyone. 

Timothy’s life was more than that of the Berlin Patient. The physical subject of countless scientific studies, Timothy welcomed and endured extensive testing to advance cure research.  He will be remembered for his quiet courage and his desire to make his good fortune a benefit to others. 

You can watch Timothy being interviewed on the red carpet at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 2015 by clicking here.

Gratitude for HRSA CADRE Grant

When our area experienced power outages from severe flooding in winter 2019, we grew concerned about how future outages might affect our ability to deliver needed services during an emergency, especially in our new Blue and Green Clinics.

But now, DAP Health Center will have a new, sufficiently sized generator to provide an alternative power source in the event of a disaster or other emergency that results in power loss, and HVAC units that will serve the Blue and Green Clinics.

Thanks to a $1 million dollar grant from HRSA’s Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts (CADRE), DAP can now respond and recover from future emergencies without interrupting service to patients. You can read more here

Voting and Census

Voting this year is more important than ever. Locally, we will choose a representative for the U.S. House, a state assembly person, two Palm Springs city council members, and several state propositions.

Also, there is still time to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census, an opportunity to help claim our Valley’s fair share of $675 billion per year in federal funds for a variety of projects and benefits for people who live here.

You can listen above to Carl Baker, Director of Legislative and Legal Affairs, explain what you need to know in the most recent DAP Talks. 

Register to Vote here:
Take the 2020 Census here:

Using Tools That We Trust

Using Tools That We Trust 

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 19, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

Committed to Preventing Flu  

By missing a flu shot, as many as 50 million Americans may catch influenza this year, but now it can be much deadlier. 

Experts warn that it is possible to catch the flu on top of a COVID, but there is something everyone can do now to make a huge difference. Flu season starts in late fall, and getting your vaccination is recommended by October 1, 2020. 

Now is the time to schedule your flu shot with your DAP doctor by logging onto MyChart, or by calling (760) 323-2118. Please read more here

Flu season often is delayed in Southern California, meaning we see cases peak in January through February. DAP is timing its flu shots so that patients retain immunity during peak months. 

If you have HIV, you are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications. In addition to taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), the best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu shot.  

Questions About Flu? Call Us! 

Our COVID Clinic also specializes in multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases, including flu. Anyone interested in talking about the flu should call 760-992-0407 to talk to a clinician.  

Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way for COVID Response 

36 years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID 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.  

Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that today helps more than 7,000 patients, regardless of HIV status. 

The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it is 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. Read more here

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020  

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 12, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

HIV remains a substantial threat to public health in the Coachella Valley, and we are not letting COVID distract us from vigorously fighting it 

As we test more new positive cases, we are stepping forward and evolving our programs to test, treat, and prevent HIV in the age of COVID. 

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is more important now than ever. You can find out more at  

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 2020 is an important funding source for programs and services that help people thrive with HIV, while preventing new cases in our valley. It also supports Hepatitis C cures, behavioral health services, dentistry, food, housing, and other vital services. 

This year we are making it easy and fun for Valley residents to participate with downloadable walk routes, specialized for safe walking in their cities. We’re also including an online wellness forum that will provide entertainment and more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at  

DAP Talks  

Suicide Prevention 

Preventing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for mental health advocates everywhere. DAP’s Dr. Jill GoverBehavioral Health Manageraddressed the warning signs and other important information we all should be aware of in her latest DAP Talks. You can listen here.  

If you or someone you know needs to talk to a specialist about suicide, please don’t wait. The following services are availableday and night: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255.  

Riverside County HELPline, a free confidential crisis suicide intervention service (951) 686-HELP (4357). 

DAP In The News 

No matter what health profile we fit, it’s important to stay engaged in our healthcare during this crisis. Dr. Tulika Singh talked to The Standard about the top four neglected health habits she notices in her patients, plus realistic fixes for better outcomes. You can read more here. 

Sharing what we know to help others grow

Sharing what we know to help others grow

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 5, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

We Won Rapid ART Implementation Site Status By HRSA

Significant numbers of PLWHA here and across the U.S. live without taking medication to treat their HIV. This threatens their own lives, as well as public health, because being virally suppressed means stopping new transmissions of HIV.

Not having access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) shows us one of the most painful examples of healthcare disparities today, and we have worked hard to make sure patients at DAP don’t wait for ART, plus other important life necessities for thriving with HIV. 

After hard work by our team, DAP has been designated as a Rapid ART Implementation Site, standing with just 10 other healthcare organizations in the U.S. who also competed.

This national demonstration project and collaboration with HRSA will help us share our 36 years of experience, as well as boost resources for our HIV testing and treatment programs for people in the Coachella Valley.

For a three-year period, DAP will continue to build and share its best practices for making sure PLWHA receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) quickly after receiving an initial HIV diagnosis, or immediately after requesting it if they stopped ART for any reason. To learn more, click here.

Affirmation From HRC

When we started 36 years ago, HIV rights and the fight for medical access were synonymous with LGBTQ rights. Opening our doors wider requires doing the work to always ensure that we hold ourselves accountable when it comes to honoring every letter in the acronym LGBTQ. 

We are proud to receive the status of Top Performer in the annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2020, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). You can read more here.

Saying I Love You To Palm Springs

Dr. Shubha Kerkar modeled some healthy behavior for us all when she helped unveil the new PS I Love You public art sculpture, getting plenty of fresh morning air while also wearing a face mask. The unveiling was dedicated to healthcare workers on the front lines during the COVID heath crisis and included representatives from Eisenhower and Desert Health.

Our 36th Birthday

Our 36th Birthday

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 22, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Today marks the 36th birthday of Desert AIDS Project, and when we take a look around, I’m extremely moved to see that our team continues to fulfill our founding promise—to save lives and prevent new HIV infections in the Coachella Valley.

I’m reminded of how the worst years of the AIDS crisis taught us how to respond quickly and thoroughly for the public health of our community, even when guidance was scarce. I’m proud of our team’s courage in applying these values today, whether through continuous COVID-19 support to over 3,000 patients so far in our Triage Clinic, or by keeping our 7,500 Health Center patients engaged in medical and behavioral care without missing a beat.

Journalist Nicholas Snow created an inspiring birthday tribute with a new collection of interviews with the people who make DAP so special today.  You can watch them by clicking here. 

DAP Talks: New Service at DAP! Drive-Up Condom Kits

People are testing positive for HIV and STIs at an increasing rate compared to this time last year, and we want to provide everything in the toolbox to protect themselves and others.

We know that access to condoms is an effective prevention tool, but the public and social venues where we’ve always shared them are closed.

We are so thankful to our Condom Club for preparing thousands of condom kits to help us continue to fight COVID-19 as we now offer free drive-up condoms.  In our latest episode of DAP Talks, Community Health Educator Caitlin Becker tells us about her role as a sexual health educator and her work leading our free condom program.

Anyone can schedule a condom kit pickup by sending an email to

DAP In The News

Living with HIV in the age of COVID-19 triggers primal survival instincts for many of our patients, and a natural response is to stay home and nest. And with current shelter-in-place guidelines, this makes sense. But we’re concerned for our patients’ health as they put off testing for STIs and routine medical check-ups. 

Thanks to reporting in The Desert Sun, PLWHA were given another reason to feel more comfortable about coming in for items that cannot be fulfilled over telephone or video, like STI testing, essential lab work, and immunizations.

If you have managed HIV, you are not more likely to contract COVID-19 than anyone else, and this is great news for everyone. You can read Maria Sestito’s article here.

Joining Together To Do More

Joining Together To Do More

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 15, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Rallying For PLWHA In COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

PLWHA are commonly overlooked as subjects in pharmaceutical studies and vaccine research, so our doctors practice extra caution when choosing medicines for patients. But when they learned that PLWHA were being left out of two COVID-19 vaccine trials, they mobilized.

Thanks to our team joining forces with other LGBTQ and HIV advocates, both biotech companies have reversed their policies. In a study protocol change, people living with stable HIV will now be included in the trials. Click here to read more here

Valley Transgender Leadership Joined for BORN TO BE Screening and Panel

Our transgender siblings are at greater risk for HIV than the general population, and the many barriers they face accessing healthcare have only increased with COVID-19. We insist on changing this for the better, and we know from our history that when we join with other likeminded organizations for the same goal, we can achieve what had seemed impossible.

Anthony Velasco, co-chair of our Transgender Care Program, brought together local leaders in transgender health and advocacy to discuss opening our doors wider together.

The panelists, who are improving the lives of transgender people in the Coachella Valley, were: Planned Parenthood, Borrego Health, LGBT Center of the Desert, Transgender Health and Wellness Center, and Online Gender Care.

We are thankful for The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care – Greater Palm Springs Chapter’s sponsorship of this event, and to Anthony Velasco for his leadership.

Our Partner Palm Springs Family Care Center Is Growing

Soon our community will have greater access to primary care and other health services when The Palm Springs Family Care Center moves into a brand new, 35,000-square-foot community health center at the northwest corner of E. Tahquitz Canyon Way and N. Sunrise Way.

We are thankful for the efforts of Riverside University Health System to help our partner expand and address the healthcare needs of more people, and we remain committed to serving our community together. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

DAP COVID-19 Triage Nurse Kimmie Miller Celebrated as NBC Palm Springs, Toyota of the Desert and Honda of the Desert's Essential Worker of the Week 

Healthcare Information and Media Resource Sharing

COVID-19 proves that access to healthcare and information is not equal in every community, and we are fighting to prevent poor health outcomes for people of color and people living in poverty in our community.  We believe supporting access to information is an important part of this.

If you’re a member of the media looking for story resources like B-roll, stock photos, plus a lot more, our new online DAP Media Kit has many of the elements needed to tell new stories about DAP or Revivals Stores.

We’ve also made information about our life sustaining services more available than ever by bringing our collection of patient literature onto our website with our new Community Health Resources page.  

DAP’s Team Reaches Out in New Ways

DAP’s Team Reaches Out in New Ways

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 1, 2020, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

DAP Talks: Getting the Most Out of Your Healthcare   

Not knowing where to turn to access care and medication can be overwhelming for someone with HIV if they’ve lost a job or insurance, and especially if they need food and help with housing. There are more services and programs available than many patients realize.  

People in need have a friend in John Machado, Clinic Case Manager, who takes each client’s access to care personally. He is an expert at uncovering ways to attain health and services, based on each client’s unique story and his own 27 years of experience serving people throughout California.  “I’m here to help. One person can change another”, Machado proudly shares.  

Listen to his DAP Talks below.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 marked World Hepatitis Day.  

Community Health Department Reaches Out to Recovery Professionals  

Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis and are unaware. The theme for 2020 is to call on people to act and raise awareness in finding the “missing millions.” DAP acted by providing a virtual Hepatitis C event to substance use and treatment professionals across Riverside and San Bernardino County.  

C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health at DAP, spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic makes testing and treatment for other epidemics more urgent.  

“One thing we learned through the AIDS crisis is viruses do not discriminate. Anyone can get a virus.  

We have witnessed this for decades with HIV, Hepatitis, and now recently with COVID. We know social determinants of health is the driver for black and brown communities, and people living in poverty are disproportionately affected.   

Now, as the entire world is faced with the COVID crisis, it is more important than ever to work together to keep our finger on the pulse of other epidemics, especially the silent epidemic known as Hepatitis C that preceded COVID.”  

Did You Know?  

DAP Community Health Department team members are certified phlebotomists which allows HIV confirmatory tests to be drawn via our mobile unit, connecting the client to DAP’s Health Center to begin rapid ART for HIV.  

The PBT license also allows Community Health staff to administer STI testing in the mobile unit. 

5 Habits That Improve Physical Resiliency 

Dr. Singh, HIV Specialist, Associate Chief Medical Officer & Director of Research, is noticing that patients of hers with certain habits are experiencing better health outcomes during this pandemic. According to Dr. Singh “COVID-19 has upended our daily routines, our future, and our lifestyles. It’s crucial to get sleep, physical activity, eat well, and manage stress, to care for yourself right now.”  

Top 5 Things PLWHA Should Do for Physical Resiliency   

  1. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight  
  2. Keep hydrated with water and electrolytes  
  3. Eat right and minimize alcohol consumption  
  4. Take HIV medications regularly  
  5. Do yogic breathing to strengthen lungs  

Important: Adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing face coverings, and washing hands often are required for any additional health and wellness practices to be effective.   

Don’t Drop the Ball on Your Health   

Many people from across the Coachella Valley get their primary medical care at DAP, and no matter what health profile they fit, life during this pandemic can make it challenging to maintain good health. If you’re neglecting your health, it’s likely in one of the following four areas, according to Dr. Tulika Singh.  

Top 4 Areas Neglected Most During COVID-19  

  • STI prevention and screenings   
  • Behavioral health visits for depression or anxiety    
  • Eating right, keeping a healthy weight, reducing alcohol  
  • Keeping routine checkups and lab work with Primary Care doctor   

Dr. Singh has this helpful tip: Telehealth services at DAP provide care to patients in a timely way via an easy phone call or video visit while minimizing the transmission risk of COVID-19.  

Additionally, take breaks from watching and reading news stories, including social media, as hearing about the pandemic repeatedly is distressing.”  

Changing Lives With Our Stories

Changing Lives With Our Stories

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, July 25 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

People living with HIV everywhere have had their continuum of care and prevention interrupted throughout this health crisis, and the Coachella Valley is no exception. DAP clients haven’t experienced any loss of services, but other complications from living in the new normal are making it challenging for them to remain engaged in care.

That is why it was so powerful when our director of development, James Lindquist shared about his own HIV journey. Finding out he was HIV positive at a time when he was experiencing other major losses in life derailed him completely. So many of our clients have experienced the same, and we want them all to have the same chance to succeed by becoming clients at DAP.

By accessing support from an AIDS service organization in his area, James re-built his life and went on to honor his own plans for professional and personal growth. For years now, he’s chosen to pay it forward by working to offer the same to anyone whose life is being turned upside down because of HIV. You can listen to his DAP Talks here.

DAP in the News

Living With HIV During COVID-19

It was moving to see our clients’ needs around COVID-19 explored in a New York Times story featuring Dr. Jill Gover and members of our long-term survivor community. This health crisis is triggering PTSD for many as they cope with aging with HIV, staying in recovery, and the anxiety over being at high-risk for Coronavirus. The article also takes a look back on the AIDS crisis, and it presents some new ways that PLWHA are finding their power today in the Coachella Valley.

STI and HIV Epidemic Awareness

We continued getting the word about the dangerous STI and HIV epidemic still raging in our Valley.  We’re experiencing a 20% spike overall compared to calendar year 2019, but thankfully C.J. Tobe pointed out all the new ways his team is making it easy for everyone to stay on top of their sexual health during COVID-19. You can watch the KESQ interview here.

Plasma Donation Is Making a Difference

Dr. Singh shared her experience donating plasma locally at LifeStream, as well as her personal experience with COVID-19. We are so proud of her for choosing to share her story so that everyone can learn about this hopeful new approach for treating COVID-19 in the sickest patients. You can watch the KESQ interview below.

We can’t forget about HIV and STI …

We can't forget about HIV and STI epidemics

Sharing Decades of Know How Online

We’ve brought our collection of patient literature online, so that everyone can access and download information in pamphlet format from home. Written by staff, these resources provide need-to-know information for anyone interested in the services DAP is known for. Materials are offered in English and en Español. Topics include a COVID-19, HIV, STIs, Transgender Health, HCV and more. Click here to access the page to start downloading.

We Can’t Lose Fight With HIV Because of COVID-19

In June, our team tested and counseled three times as many people with new HIV infections, compared to any other month in the last year and-a-half. This tells us that the last five months of living in the “new normal” has made taking care of sexual health harder for people.

By using DAP’s new at-home HIV testing, no one has to put their health on hold if they are sheltering in place. Anyone interested in using this resource or with questions about accessing sexually health services should email or contact April Cruz at 760-656-8425.

Ongoing medical and behavioral healthcare, plus a lot of wellness services, are always offered when someone tests positive for HIV at DAP.

Spike in HIV and STIs

Our community’s health is threatened by steadily rising rates of HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia. Many DAP clients are feeling fatigued from socially isolating and nervous about coming indoors for testing and medical visits.

Before COVID-19, we were battling an STI epidemic in the Coachella Valley that hasn’t ended. June saw double new syphilis infections compared to May at DAP, and chlamydia has been on a rapid climb for six months.

Thanks to our Community Health team, our clients can continue routine STI and HIV testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here

Plasma Donation Changes Lives

Our Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tulika Singh never passes up an opportunity to pay it forward for others. After recovering herself, Dr. Singh wanted to make a difference by donating her plasma for a therapy that is helping the sickest COVID-19 patients.

“If I can help even just one person, that will be worth it.” She got her wish-- within 48 hours, she learned her plasma had reached two very sick people in need. 

Adding More to Grocery Delivery

So many of our clients who are sheltering-in-place are long-term HIV survivors, and they are re-experiencing PTSD from the worst days of the AIDS crisis.

Our food home delivery program has been helping them stay nourished with healthy groceries since March. Along with help from our Client Advisory Board, now we’re adding essential personal care and household cleaning items to these deliveries, starting next week. 

Everyday tasks like cleaning your kitchen countertop, and personal hygiene, help us stay healthier and more connected to living.

If you or someone you know are living with HIV and struggling to find support, please contact Guillermo Ramos at (760)323-2118.

This was made possible by our grants team, who saw this need and obtained funding through ‘HRSA Ryan White Part C-Covid’ to support the home delivery program to our patients and clients. We are so thankful for this vital help from HRSA.

Getting Re-Tested After Having COVID-19

Re-testing after you’ve had COVID-19 is a natural choice, but your doctor will know best when to re-test you, and which test to administer for the most accurate reading. Please call (760) 992-0407 if you’d like more information. You can read more in our updated Q&A on Coronavirus here.

Re-testing too quickly will not change your quarantine time, and it could provide false results. If you need follow-up care for symptom management, DAP is here for you.