It’s that time of year again, and AIDS Walk 2020 is an exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about ending AIDS and opening up healthcare for all to carry on this important and life-affirming tradition.
Desert AIDS Walk 2020 will last for two days and will span cities across the Coachella Valley, October 23 & 24.
Festivities include an online wellness forum. This is an opportunity for entertainment and to learn more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.
Walk routes in surrounding desert cities are also offered, a new feature that lets everyone participate in Desert AIDS Walk 2020 while getting out and enjoying their own communities. More info is at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.
This year, the traditional Palm Springs route remains a favorite pathway, and it’s been mapped out and is available for download.
Capture and share your HOPE
Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for walkers to safely take selfies, like at new art installations, or designated stops to say hello to local businesses—all with the intention of sharing messages of HOPE via social media.
In many ways, the Desert AIDS Walk has always been virtual. When it began thirty-four years ago, the first organizers say they did not know if the community would support it, but they knew the only way forward was together. Support from was instant, and their HOPE started to grow.
When walkers register, they will be given three clear reasons to walk in 2020:
- Healthcare Access for All
- HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care
- COVID-19 Triage Clinic
The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.
Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way For COVID Response
Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that helps people with HIV.
Thirty-four years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID-19 Triage Clinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today’s crisis.
Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains: “By opening one of California’s first COVID clinics, DAP made a choice. We are survivors; fear cannot rule us; when crisis sets it, we step forward.”
- We have the ability to end epidemics, including HIV and COVID
- We integrate Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment as critical components of Primary Care
- We address Social Determinates of Health, including racism and poverty, through our inclusive model of healthcare.
With the ongoing courage and support of this community, our organization thrives.
The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it’s understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone. But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help.
And as we’ve learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.
Desert Care Network is the presenting sponsor for Desert AIDS Walk 2020 and Walgreens is the sponsor of the Health & Wellness Festival.
You can find out more at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.