David Brinkman , CEO of Desert AIDS Project, was tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, at Desert AIDS Project’s COVID-19 Triage Clinic. The test came back positive on March 29. Brinkman sought testing after experiencing a cough and fatigue.  He is recovering while self-quarantined at home.
Local writer Daniel Vailancourt spoke with David Brinkman about his experience with COVID-19, read the interview here.   
“I chose to keep this private at first because I did not want to take any focus away from the care team at DAP responding to this crisis and serving our patients,” Brinkman said.
Desert AIDS Project opened its COVID-19 Triage Clinic on March 16.  In addition to testing, the clinic provides treatment for symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses that can present in a similar manner. Those without insurance coverage are never turned away.
Brinkman has remained at the forefront of DAP’s response to the pandemic while self-quarantining at home.  DAP launched two new services for testing and care including Virtual Visits for DAP’s clients unable to leave their homes, and drive-through testing outside its COVID-19 Triage Clinic to provide access to larger numbers of community members seeking care. “This experience has reinforced my belief that no person in our valley should be without healthcare,” said Brinkman. “We are opening DAP’s doors even wider to community members who need access to care during this crisis.”

“It’s in the very DNA of Desert AIDS Project to respond quickly to a public health crisis using science and medicine to create a humanitarian response,” said Brinkman.  “We are using our tested roadmaps from the HIV and HCV epidemics to respond to COVID-19.” Helping people survive epidemics is in the Coachella Valley has been the core specialty of DAP for 35 years. With the largest infectious disease team of clinicians in this region of California, DAP offers expert medical care, anchored by a deep understanding of Coachella Valley epidemiology.
The team at Desert AIDS Project has been adaptive in their approach and quick in their response to ensure continuous care for our patients and clients. 

  • Desert AIDS Project launched MyChart Virtual Visit, a digital solution that ensures our patient’s continuum of care from the comfort of their home. MyChart Virtual Visit is an easy and reliable way for them to meet with their clinicians. Click here to learn more about MyChart Virtual Visit. Our patients still have the option for an in-person meeting with their clinician in our Blue Clinic or Green Clinic on the DAP campus.
  • Testing and symptom treatment in DAP’s COVID-19 Triage clinic continues daily. 
  • DAP is still welcoming new clients during the COVID-19 health crisis. Services available include:
    • Primary Care
    • Specialty Care for HIV and Hep C
    • Behavioral Healthcare
    • Emergency Dental Care
    • Sexual Health at The DOCK
    • Social Services like case management, food assistance, transportation, housing and home care.
  • The DOCK, temporarily housed in DAP’s Green Clinic, continues to see patients who have questions about their sexual health, testing for STI’s and HIV while our PrEP navigators continued to provide access to this prevention method.

    DAP’s Social Service and Community Health teams launched home delivery of essential supplies, including food for our most vulnerable clients ensuring they don’t need to leave their home to go to the grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you believe you might be symptomatic or need information about testing, please call our COVID-19 hotline at (760) 992-0407.