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Desert AIDS Project to mark National HIV Testing Day in Indio and Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – In its ongoing commitment to free and confidential HIV testing, Desert AIDS Project will also be providing a $10 gift card for those who are tested – and wait the 20 minutes for their test results – at D.A.P.’s Indio satellite office on Wednesday, June 27, from 11 am to 5 pm, as long as the supply of gift cards last.

The office is located at 81-880 Dr Carreon Blvd, Suite B-107 in Indio. Although appointments are not necessary, anyone wishing to make one may call 760-342-4197.

“The best way to stop the spread of HIV is by everyone knowing their status – because one in five people who are infected don’t know they have it,” said David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project. “Every nine-and-a-half minutes, someone in the U.S. contracts HIV. That’s more than 55,000 new men, women, and children added each year to the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.”

While testing goes on at the east end of our desert cities on National HIV Testing Day, the free, all-day “Pathways to Health & Well-Being HIV Conference” will be happening at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“The National HIV/AIDS Strategy has informed recent changes in the State of California’s HIV prevention and education priorities,” Brinkman said. “There’s a greater focus on linking newly diagnosed individuals with care, making HIV testing part of routine medical care, reconnecting individuals who have fallen out of care, and supporting medication adherence programs.

This conference is a collaboration between the County of Riverside departments of Public Health and Mental Health, Desert AIDS Project, and Bienestar. Although registration is not required, anyone interested in learning more may visit pathwayshiv.org.

This conference will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about HIV/AIDS and the current set of available resources for care and prevention. “HIV 101” sessions will be offered, as well as a Resource Room staffed with eligibility workers.

Early intervention counselors will also be available for anyone learning they are HIV-positive with a free and confidential HIV test, as provided throughout the conference by the Riverside County Department of Public Health. As at their Indio location on this day, Desert AIDS Project will be providing a $10 gift card, while supplies last, for those who are tested and wait the 20 minutes for their test results.

“The mutual goal of all partners who are bringing this conference to the greater Palm Springs community is to encourage all individuals to know their HIV status, and to empower those living with HIV to become better advocates for their own health, stay connected with care, and optimize their health and well-being,” Brinkman said.

A free continental breakfast and registration for the conference begins at 8 am. The conference begins at 9 am and runs until 3:30 pm. Spanish translation services will be available. A free lunch will be provided and the conference will conclude with drawings for door prizes.

Desert AIDS Project serves people living with HIV and AIDS by providing comprehensive support, including medical care, case management, and social services, like food, housing, and counseling. D.A.P. also offers free and confidential HIV testing at a number of locations throughout the communities it serves. To learn more about Desert AIDS Project, please call 760-323-2118, visit desertaidsproject.org or find them on Facebook, Twitter at @DesertAIDS and You Tube.