DAP's Courage and Creativity During COVID
Weekend Wrap Message- Saturday, April 18, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
Creatively and courageously, together we are providing continuous care and growing our COVID-19 Triage Clinic resulting in the reduction of lives lost. This week I’d like to showcase innovations to reach at-risk populations, despite the challenges of social distancing.
Dental Services on the Frontline
The DAP Dental Team is critical to our frontline response. Although dental practices in California have suspended routine care to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, our dedicated Dental Team is committed to the health of our patients and is available for urgent and emergency care. DAP dental patients who have a dental emergency should call 760-992-0460.
Sex During a Pandemic
A lesson learned from the AIDS pandemic is that people yearn to feel connected, especially during times of uncertainty. Shaming people for having sex didn’t work in the 80s, and it is not an effective strategy now. I am not condoning hooking up during this pandemic, but I am a realist and DAP is responding:
- Mobile Testing Van
DAP is expanding its efforts to fight the HIV, STI and HCV epidemics amid the COVID-19 crisis. We doubled our capacity by operating our mobile testing van in the DAP parking lot and operating The Dock in our Green Clinic. Both sites provide access to HIV, HCV and STI testing and treatment, plus PrEP and PEP. Both sites are also a direct way to get linked into primary medical and behavioral healthcare.
- Free at Home HIV Test Kits For Highest Risk Clients
Without ongoing testing, we cannot end HIV in the Coachella Valley. If you normally receive HIV testing at DAP and you have self-quarantined, and want to self-test at home, call April Cruz, Diagnostic Testing and Outreach Manager at (760) 656-8425.
For people in residential recovery or who are incarcerated, access to HIV testing stopped. DAP’s Community Health Department is responding by combing HIV education via Zoom and the provision of self-HIV test kits. Anyone testing positive will receive ongoing support and medical care at DAP or through referrals.
COVID-19 Triage Clinic
As of Friday, our clinicians tested 250 people for COVID-19. We continue seeing a 10-to-11 percent positivity rate. Our healthcare workers monitor patients who test positive via telemedicine, and our staff and volunteers provide food and transportation as needed.
Our first week offering Drive-Up services for possible COVID-19 related symptoms allowed us to: 1) test more people and 2) freed up much needed space inside our Triage Clinic to treat our highest risk patients.
As we innovate to create additional services at DAP our care for our community continues. A successful response takes all of us. I thank you for your partnership.
Local Foundations Support DAP
We are grateful to Desert Healthcare District & Foundation for funding COVID-19 rapid test kits, and supporting the provision of healthcare to 7,000 DAP clients, regardless of their HIV status. Grants totaling $800,000 will be divided between Borrego Health, Clinicas de Salud Del Pueblo and DAP.
The Auen Foundation is benevolently backing our frontline response. Through a $50,000 grant, The Auen Foundation is helping to underwrite to costs of our COVID-19 Triage Clinic personnel and medical supplies.