12 Days of Giving 2016 - Desert AIDS Project
By Megan McClain
Many political, social and spiritual groups encourage being altruistic and giving back to your community year-round. However, something is in the air during the holiday season that really brings out the spirit of giving in all of us. For 12 days throughout December, we want to inspire you to give back to those who are in need in our local neighborhoods. Our "12 Days of Giving" feature shares the impact and needs of 12 different Inland Empire charities. Our hope is that each feature will inform, inspire and encourage you to donate, volunteer or give back in some way. Please consider giving the gift of kindness to a stranger this season, because it may be the only one they receive.
Day Six - Desert AIDS Project
For Coachella Valley residents living with HIV or other diseases, there is nonjudgemental support and care an arm's reach away.
Desert AIDS Project has several programs dedicated to care, well-being, prevention and advocacy for desert residents with sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Its mission is to support healthy, loving families and communities, despite the existence of HIV.
DAP is a federally qualified care center that has primary care, HIV and hepatitis specialty care, dentistry and behavioral health, and was recognized on World Aids Day 2015 by the White House for its Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign. There are programs for healthcare, social services, and mental and physical well-being for clients.
It recently opened a Hepatitis Center of Excellence, collaborating with Desert Oasis Healthcare to staff specialists in the center. Twenty percent of DAP patients have the Hepatitis C virus, and DAP estimates that 4,000 Coachella Valley residents live with HCV.
The Desert AIDS Project has several major events throughout the year, including a fundraising walk, Dancing with the Desert Stars and “Dinner at My Place,” a series of private themed dinners. It also has Revival thrift shops for to help raise funds, a volunteer-staffed supportive buddy system and its employees hand out prevention and basic supplies.
You can connect with Desert AIDS Project through its website and through its numerous social media channels.