HIV and Aging Community Conference Featured Speakers and Panelists Announced

14 Sep HIV and Aging Community Conference Featured Speakers and Panelists Announced

Get Tested Coachella Valley is proud to announce our Featured Speakers and Panelists for the 2016 HIV and Aging Community Conference.

Conference Moderator

tricia-gerhleinTricia Gerhlein, Regional Director, Clinton Health Matters Initiative 

Tricia Gehrlein is the Associate Director of Community Health Transformation. She works with the community of the Coachella Valley, CA to facilitate the implementation of the Blueprint for Action, identifying and leveraging resources to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities across the region. Additionally, she works with the Director of Community Health Transformation to develop, implement, oversee and evaluate the CHT program in the Western United States.

HIV and Aging, Ask the Doctor


David H. Morris, MD, Medical Director, Desert AIDS Project, HIV Specialist, AAHIVM, Board Certified and Family Practice

Dr. Morris has managed treatment of patients with HIV for over 20 years. In addition, Dr. Morris provides primary care services beyond HIV care. He has experience in leadership, serves on several Boards of Directors, owned a medical practice, and has a keen interest in quality improvement, management, medical oversight, PEP, PrEP, and HIV in aging populations.

Topics for Discussion with Dr. Morris:

1). How does HIV affect the aging process?

2). Are people with HIV aging more rapidly?

3). Does HIV accelerate heart disease?

4). Does HIV accelerate osteoporosis?

5). What other factors accelerate the aging process?

6). Proactive steps in slowing age-related decline.

Let’s Kick ASS (AIDS Survivor Syndrome) Panel Discussion

Let’s Kick ASS—AIDS Survivor Syndrome is a national grassroots movement of long-term survivors dedicated to empowering individuals who lived through the first two decades of the AIDS epidemic to make the next 20 years the best they can be. 

Our featured panelists will discuss AIDS Survivor Syndrome – what it is, its effects on the diverse members of our community regardless of their HIV status, and what we are doing to help.


Timothy Brown, Panelist

“Although I am extremely lucky to be confirmed cured of HIV, I spent a good part of my adult years being HIV+ and still feel a very strong affinity to people living with HIV (PLHIV). I feel that the missions of Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs are extremely important to make sure that PLHIV do not feel isolated.”

kerry-dealKerry Deal, Panelist

“I grew up in a rural town east of Reno, and earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. I was licensed as a CPA in 1980, and moved to LA in 1981, where I met my first partner, and made my first trips to Palm Springs. I moved back to Nevada in 1985, and tested positive for HIV in 1987. I continued my career doing a variety of jobs – my own CPA practice, teaching accounting and business full-time at a community college, serving as the CFO for several organizations (including Northern Nevada HOPES), even owning my own interior design firm in San Diego. Two years ago I moved to the desert, having fond memories of this beautiful place since my first visit in 1981. I joined the staff of The Center in July 2015 as Director of Operations, and finally found my dream job!”

eric-jennkeEric Jannke, Panelist

Fed up with seeing gay men marginalized and oppressed, Eric moved to San Francisco in 1988, where he was diagnosed with ARC and given a year or so to live. Over the next decades, he joined every experimental trial that would have him. Socially active, known for a red motorcycle and matching attitude, he loved the public health and volunteered as an acupressure practitioner for SF General’s Ward 86. In 2010, he moved to the desert and currently volunteers for D.A.P. as a DAPCAN editor and Secretary for the Client Advocacy Committee. He is the communications Guy for LKAPS. Contact Eric at

george-malloryGeorge Mallory, Panelist

George is a native of Decatur, GA. and graduated from Georgia State University with a B.S. in Hospitality. He lived in San Francisco for 20 years where he was Revenue Manager for The Kimpton Group Boutique Hotels and volunteered at Project Open Hand, helping to feed people with HIV. He moved to the desert 3 years ago, is a founding member of Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs, and volunteers at the Food Bank for the LGBTQ Center. He has been HIV+ for over 16 years.

Introduction to PrEP

PrEP navigation services and PrEP with an aging population.

raven-mendezRaven Mendez, PrEP Navigator, Desert AIDS Project

Raven Mendez is a Coachella Valley native. She went to UCR at the home campus in Riverside, and where she received her BA in Psychology and worked in a Developmental Psychology lab studying first and second-generation college students. She came back to the Coachella Valley after completing her degree, she became employed with D.A.P. shortly after, as a test counselor. Her role now is as the onsite PrEP Navigator at DAP, which navigates clients through their appointments and insurance, accordingly. Click here to schedule a PrEP talk appointment.

Behavioral Health Services: Supporting Positive Aging

Behavioral Health services have a vital role to play in aging well with HIV. By identifying and treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD; helping to minimize social isolation and managing substance use; and by increasing coping with chronic health issues and supporting meaningful connections with community life, behavioral health services can help make older adulthood a reparative and dynamic life stage for those aging with HIV.

daniel-parker-phdDaniel Parker Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Desert AIDS Project

Dr. Daniel Parker has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to persons with HIV/AIDS, to members of the LGBT community, and to older adults, in both the U.S. and Australia, and worked for many of the last 12 years in the Western Australia Health Service, in both their older adult and HIV services. He is the former Clinical Director of an innovative mental health program in Palm Springs serving LGBT older adults.

Support Programs and Employment for Seniors/50+

patrick-michael-cohenPatrick Michael Cohen, Marketing & Program Development-Senior Support Programs, County of Riverside – Office on Aging.

Michael Cohen is a native Californian and a long-time resident of Palm Springs. His career has focused both in the education and nonprofit sectors. Michael has been an instructor and educational administrator in public schools, as well as a staff executive / educational manager in California nonprofit organizations. He holds an MBA degree from Pepperdine University / Graziadio School of Business and Management, Los Angeles, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University, a Jesuit school in Spokane, Washington.

HIV & Aging – CVCRI Research Project

An overview of the research agenda of CVCRI (Coachella Valley Community Research Initiative). Focusing on currently enrolling clinical trials of CVCRI and its partners, and planned studies & projects.

jeff-taylorJeff Taylor, Producer, Positive Life Series 

Jeff Taylor is a 35 year HIV survivor and has been active in HIV research advocacy since enrolling in the first AZT trials in the late 80’s. Currently, he serves as a community advisor to National Institutes of Health research consortia on AIDS-related cancers and HIV cure research, and on the Department of Health and Human Services HIV Treatment Guidelines Panel.  Locally, he produces the Positive Life Series–a monthly HIV treatment education program at Desert Regional Medical Center; and is director of the Coachella Valley Community Research Initiative that studies HIV & aging in our local population.

Event Details

2016 HIV and Aging Community Conference

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mizell Senior Center, 480 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs

Doors open: 12:30 PM

Program: 1-5 PM

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

Thank you to our Community Partners and Sponsors for their generous support.