Advocacy at home for the chance to defeat a pandemic
Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 9, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
DAP to FDA: Let Gay Men Donate Blood Now
This week we called upon the FDA to drop its archaic ban on gay blood donation. Recently Dr. Christopher Foltz fully recovered from COVID-19 himself, only to be blocked from participating in a groundbreaking plasma study that could help save his patients.
Since this crisis began, national supplies of blood are dangerously low and we need everyone to be able to donate. DAP views this ban as a human rights violation. No one should be denied from contributing to the wellbeing of their community in a time of crisis, including gay men.
Those suffering from COVID-19 whose lives could be saved from convalescent plasma transfusion therapy and others needing regular blood transfusions deserve to have supplies ready. Lifting this ban will save lives.
Read more about Dr. Foltz’s journey with COVID-19 and the plasma study here.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
We announced even greater access to health by opening up asymptomatic testing to our community for COVID-19, and the response has been incredible. In just one day, our Patient Registration team scheduled 140 appointments, and more than half of them are newly enrolled patients at DAP now, able to access primary and behavioral healthcare plus much more.
Our order for 2,500 additional asymptomatic COVID-19 testing kits might be delayed due to supply chain issues. We have plenty of tests to accommodate appointments we’ve already set through May 15 for asymptomatic testing. We are keeping in close contact with our supplier and will keep the community updated.
One Call services brought clients into care
Callers accessed One Call services by calling 760-992-0426, and they cut the amount of time it took to get enrolled in insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California and into care at DAP by about two-thirds.
“When accessing services becomes difficult, people are more likely to give up on participating in their own health,” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health. “We’re not going to lose people in this community because we failed to keep them connected.”
We also made sure that our Spanish speaking residents of the valley got this important information by working with Univision.
Outreaching about therapy in a pandemic
Dr. Jill Gover wrote a Valley Voice column for The Desert Sun yesterday about how much your mental health matters during this health crisis, and she offered hope for building ways of coping. You can read the column in its entirety by clicking here.
Because of you ... Desert AIDS Project's homebound and immunosuppressed patients will continue receiving care packages of nutritious meals and toiletries, DAP's frontline clinicians remain safe with proper PPE, and neighbors will be tested and treated for symptoms of COVID-19.
Together, we raised $40,000 matched by Mark Hamilton & Juan Francisco for a total of $60,000. You ordered breakfast, lunch, and dinner from local restaurants. You rallied with others all across the Valley, and the world, to ensure we all rally back stronger from the challenges of the pandemic.
WE ARE GRATEFUL.