Desert AIDS Project has been on this list of distinction for each of the three years that About.com, a Top 40 U.S. website attracting more than 86 million users each month, has compiled its “Top 20 HIV Charities” ranking. About.com’s peer-reviewed Health Channel includes over 1,000 topics curated by researchers, physicians, medical writers, and healthcare professionals.
“We are certainly proud to be recognized for our financial transparency and practices, including at least 75% of our budget being spent on programs, as well as for our solid fundraising practices,” said David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project. “But we are more focused than ever on helping to bring about an end to HIV in our region, while continuing to provide care for those living with HIV or AIDS”
Brinkman is soon headed back to our nation’s capital, where he recently presented Get Tested Coachella Valley – the first region-wide HIV testing and access-to-care program in the U.S. – on the grounds of the White House. Called the Fast Track Cities Initiative & National HIV/AIDS Strategy Technical Consultation, it was hosted by the Office on National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC.) The organizers felt that Get Tested Coachella Valley success was helping our region to get closer to the 90/90/90 targets: 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status, 90% of those who know their HIV-positive status being on treatment, and 90% of people on HIV treatment having suppressed viral load.
It’s the 82 Community Partners of Get Tested Coachella Valley that are helping to make that happen throughout the region by broadening access to HIV testing. On World AIDS Day, free and confidential testing will be offered at The Dock at D.A.P. in Palm Springs, Walgreens at Varner and Washington in Palm Desert, Walgreens at Highway 111 and Madison in Indio, and the Salvation Army on Landau in Cathedral City. “One of the most meaningful ways we can honor those we’ve lost is to end the epidemic, once and for all,” said Susan Unger, Project Director of Get Tested Coachella Valley. “Getting an HIV test is easy – and the most important step each of us can take.”
“The vision is for the U.S. to become a place where new HIV infections are rare. When those infections do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or soci-economic circumstances should have unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination,” said Brinkman. “Every community, working together, is how we will defeat AIDS nationally. The day will come – very soon, I hope – when people will come to D.A.P. to be cured of HIV and to have high-quality health care in a world without AIDS.”
To mark World AIDS Day on Tuesday, December 1, clients will enjoy a day of activities on the D.A.P. campus.
That evening at the Camelot, D.A.P. will recognize “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” at the 2nd Annual Everyday Heroes with champagne reception, awards, entertainment by Nita Whitaker, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Lulu California Bistro.