In its continued mission to make services more accessible, DAP Health is opening a new sexual wellness clinic in Indio offering free confidential testing and treatment to east valley communities.
DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project) is a leading provider of medical and mental health services in the Coachella Valley. Their primary health center in Palm Springs serves over 10,000 and offers a variety of integrative services from primary care and dentistry to yoga and meditation. Their HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.
The new Indio clinic will offer testing for HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections. They will also provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV clients. Case management and referrals to additional resources will be available as well.
“We started planning to address unmet needs in our community and to respond to where we’re finding new HIV cases,” said CJ Tobe, director of community health and sexual wellness services. “[We] identified that there’s an unmet need for sexual wellness services, specifically surrounding Indio.” Hispanics with lower income and under the age of 39 are most at risk. Tobe adds that in 2019, 25% of all HIV-positive test results at DAP Health were in Hispanic men with many driving from the east valley to Palm Springs for services
Establishing trust and breaking barriers in addressing sexuality is one of their primary goals – and challenges. “There is a lot of stigma and shame attached to sexual wellness, specifically in the Latino community…,” said Tobe.
A welcoming environment has been created and clients will be able to see clinicians and receive treatment with all services under one roof. In the waiting room, a large mural designed by Indio artists Cece Cruz and Evelyn Sofia Rivera, together known as Mujeres Murals, creates familiarity. Their work is displayed in numerous locations throughout the city and Cruz says her hope is that people will see the mural as warm, peaceful and calming.
“We welcome all people, period,” said Tobe. “We are adjusting the system to meet the needs of the community by not asking for insurance while providing free services that don’t take weeks to be seen by a clinician. We will test you, treat you, and connect you to any other medical or social support needs you may have. All of these services…are free from cost and free from judgment and shame.”
To celebrate the opening of the new clinic, DAP Health will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 16, at 10 a.m. All are welcome to attend and tours of the facility will be offered. The festivities will continue at 11 a.m. with a free taco cart lunch, family-friendly giveaways, and a storewide sale at the new Indio Revivals. Sales from valley-wide Revival stores support all DAP Health programs.
The DAP Sexual Wellness Clinic Indio is located at 81-719 Doctor Carreon Blvd. Suite D and will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Revivals Indio is located at 82-150 Highway 111. For more information call (760) 323.2118 or visit www.daphealth.org.