Thousands expected for the 2022 AIDS Walk in the Desert

The theme for this year’s AIDS Desert Walk is “Walk Out Loud”.

PALM SPRINGS – Some 2,000 community members – from babies in strollers to the elderly – are expected to participate in DAP Health’s annual AIDS Walk in the Desert, which kicks off at Ruth Hardy Park on Saturday, Oct. 29, charting a route through downtown Palm Springs. The theme for this year’s event, whose main sponsor is Desert Care Network, is “Walk, Out Loud”, which focuses on advocacy and uniting the whole community in the fight for the LGBTQ+ health equity.

“Sadly, history is repeating itself,” says David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health, an advocacy-based healthcare organization that provides services to more than 10,000 people each year in the Coachella Valley. “With gay rights under attack in our country and our government’s disheartening lack of urgency to respond to the growing Monkeypox (Mpox) crisis, 2022 looks, sounds and feels like the early 80s, when the HIV/AIDS was decimating our community and politicians turned their backs, refusing to act.As we learned then, silence equals death, and when our leaders fail us, it is up to the members of our community to fight back. “Join forces and advocate on our own behalf. Only by coming out in unprecedented numbers and raising our collective voices this year can we show local, state and federal officials that their apathy toward LGBTQ people is absolutely unacceptable.

Registration for the Desert AIDS Walk will begin Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. departure. The Walgreens-sponsored Health & Wellness Village will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Performers on the main stage will include the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.

Money raised from the ever-popular pet and family case will go directly to fund DAP Health’s advocacy and healthcare efforts, with 2022 proceeds also benefiting a handful of community partners, including the Desert LGBTQ Community Center, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Brothers of the Desert, The L Fund and Queer Works.

Since its inception in 1984, DAP Health has focused its work on advocacy on behalf of populations whose voices are often ignored – people living with HIV/AIDS, people of color, people living in poverty, people without housing, people with disabilities and people in difficulty. with substance use. Through it all, the organization has never wavered in its determination to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and today continues to:

  • Offering free on-site and mobile HIV and STI testing, including sending door-to-door HIV testing to those who cannot access its main campus in Palm Springs.
  • Connect people newly diagnosed with HIV to care — and help them stay in care — so they can be undetectable, thus unable to transmit the virus to others (I=I).
  • Provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

As always, DAP Health’s daily approach to healthcare is holistic. Its set of culturally competent services includes:

  • HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and care
  • STI awareness, screening and care
  • First aid
  • mental health care
  • Dental care
  • Addiction treatment
  • Management of medical records
  • Guest welfare services
  • Housing assistance
  • Medical transportation
  • Food/grocery vouchers
  • Social services
  • Mobile and telehealth services
  • Health insurance and medical assistance

The recent opening of a DAP Health clinic in Indio is proof of the nonprofit’s continued desire to expand its reach in the East Valley.

No patient is ever turned away due to an inability to pay.

In 2021:

  • 8,298 patients were seen at DAP Health.
  • 8,182 HIV tests were carried out, 53 people were referred to HIV care following their positive diagnosis and 58 patients consulted for PEP.
  • 4,698 patients accessed the organization’s mental health services.
  • 4,100 patients accessed its dental health services.
  • 2,431 drug addiction visits were carried out.
  • 2,924 tests for hepatitis C were carried out.
  • 901 hepatitis B tests were performed.
  • 1,558 appointments for STIs were scheduled, with 947 patients treated for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
  • 1,029 patients received PrEP, including 359 new PrEP initiations.
  • 1,188 people attended his presentations on community health.

For attendees

Those interested in participating in the 2022 AIDS Walk in the Desert: Walk Out Loud can register by clicking here.

For sponsors

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities related to the Walk or the Health & Wellness Village can learn more by contacting DAP Health Director of Development James Lindquist at [email protected] or 760.656.8413.

About DAP Health

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, free STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy and laboratory services . A variety of comprehensive services allow patients to enjoy optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialist clinicians in the region. Click here to learn more about the organization’s commitment to health equity.

DAP Health has opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to provide screenings, testing and treatment. DAP Health is also working to address the social determinants of health that drive negative health outcomes during this pandemic, such as food and housing insecurity, unemployment, isolation, and access to healthcare. continuous.

DAP Health sexual health clinics offer free STI testing and treatment services, free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) services, and free HIV and HIV testing. HCV. DAP Health earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – placing DAP Health in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability and transparency.

Click here to find out more.

Image Sources

  • AIDS Walk in the Desert: DAP Health

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