Local Non Profit Hosts President Bill Clinton Breakfast
PALM SPRINGS - President Bill Clinton was welcomed with big cheers at this morning's breakfast at the Desert AIDS Project. The event was part of the Health Matters Initiative.
But it was Clinton who had big praise for the non-profit that started 30-years ago.
"Everyday someone is getting the show on the road and people's lives are getting better and the implications for the whole country are staggering for the whole country," said Clinton
David Brinkman the CEO of Desert AIDS Project says he's proud of the organizations accomplishments but adds, "Our goal is to ensure that every member of the Coachella Valley knows their HIV status. We know our prevalence rate of HIV is double the national average in our community and that the rate of infection is one every nine minutes."
The Get Tested mobile unit is part of the efforts to stem the new number of HIV/AIDS. The Desert AIDS Project hopes it will be a game changer.
"Getting everybody tested for HIV has the potential of saving between 300 to a billion dollars to health care specifically to the Coachella Valley," said Brinkman.
But the real impact won't be measured in dollars and cents
"We estimate about 1000 people in the Coachella Valley, who don't know their HIV status today they're highly infectious and they're unintentionally passing it to others, but they are also missing the opportunity to get on the life saving medications now available," lamented Brinkman.
President Clinton brought a lot of attention to the seriousness of what the Desert AIDS Project does everyday in the Coachella Valley. He lightened the mood with some political comparisons … that's what Clinton does best.
"The Republicans bought the Republican houses and Democrats bought Democrat houses ... but they lived behind same gate," Clinton said about a development built in the Inland Empire.
And Steve Pougnet, the Mayor of Palm Springs summed it up best, "For overall healthcare costs and your well being we need people to get tested and so I would encourage anyone … it's simple to do we will come to you."