C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness Services at DAP health, is passionate about eliminating barriers to allow everyone access to healthcare services. He started at DAP in 2015 as a medical case manager, and has steadily earned the trust of senior leadership, fulfilling roles in clinic case management, prevention programs management, and community health education and interventions management.

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Before coming to DAP, C.J. was a medical case manager and prevention services coordinator for Western Colorado AIDS Project in Grand Junction. He helped create and manage a state funded, legal Syringe Exchange program, and he expanded the men’s HIV prevention program. Thanks in part to his efforts, the “MPower Colorado” program expanded into three additional counties, raising public awareness about HIV prevention and linkage to care. This life-changing program was also integrated at Transcend, the area’s transgender, non-binary and cross-dressing advocacy organization.

His commitment to homeless advocacy grew as he served on the board of Grand Valley Peace and Justice, a social justice and support organization serving the Grand Junction, CO area. He furthered his efforts by serving on the board of Western Slope NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), serving the same area.

Mr. Tobe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Arizona State University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

He was born and raised in Ohio and loves calling the Coachella Valley home. He believes healthcare is a human right, and one of his favorite things about DAP is the sense of family throughout the organization.

In this episode of LIFE POSITIVE on PromoHomo.TV®, CJ discusses DAP Health’s expanded harm reduction and sexual health services.

DAP Health Sexual Health Services

DAP Health made two significant moves to expand free testing and treatment to the East Valley by signing a lease to a new facility in Indio and partnering with MISTR to provide virtual PrEP services statewide.

On Nov. 29, DAP Health signed a lease for a building in Indio to open a sexual wellness clinic. The organization hopes to open the new space by June 2022.

Free services will include STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) testing and treatment (gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis), HIV prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP; post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.

If anyone tests positive for HIV, the sexual wellness clinic DAP Health will provide that person with rapid start medication and linkage to care, an essential step in reducing new HIV infections and improving the health outcomes of the person living with HIV. While the cost of ongoing HIV treatment is not part of the free services, DAP Health offers financial assistance.

In 2019, 25% of all HIV-positive test results at DAP Health were Hispanic men. “Many folks were driving from the East Valley to Palm Springs to utilize DAP Health’s sexual wellness services. We noticed not only a high volume of patients but most of those patients were already having symptoms of an STI or testing positive for HIV,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness at DAP Health. Tobe believes free testing and treatment, with the convenience of not having to drive a great distance, will encourage more people to get tested.

DAP Health is changing the system to meet the person. Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Orange Clinic that houses its sexual wellness services in July 2021, DAP Health has seen ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to Tobe.

Harm Reduction

DAP Health’s harm reduction program has two components. First, Overdose prevention and secondly a Syringe Services Program (SSP) that will include health services and behavioral health support to combat the rise in preventable overdoses and the increase in new HIV cases.

The multi-layered program will focus on education for the community, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, distribution and collection of syringes and referrals to support folks through their addiction journey.

Additional services to be provided: Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death, and Fentanyl test strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose.

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