Meet the Team: Raven Mendez, PrEP Education and Navigation Specialist

28 Sep Meet the Team: Raven Mendez, PrEP Education and Navigation Specialist

Ever wonder how PrEP works or if PrEP is right for you? We’ve got just the person to answer all of your PrEP questions.

Meet Raven Mendez, our PrEP education and navigation specialist!

What is a PrEP Navigator?

A PrEP navigator helps people who want to go on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis aka PrEP. What I do is I facilitate them getting the medication covered by insurance and help them link to care. I can also help them get insurance if they don’t have insurance. I’m here to help people navigate through the process. I also help follow-up with clients for their appointments. I become their support system throughout the process and make myself readily available for them whenever they need me.  

Why did you start doing this kind of work?

I always knew I wanted to make a difference in my community. I never knew what that exactly entailed. I started my career as a Community Health Educator which meant that I worked in the community and tested. I have tested people in recovery, as well as, educating them as well. I also did presentations at local high schools. I knew, once I found out about PrEP that there was more work that needed to be done. I took it upon myself to educate myself on PrEP, used that information to better assist those in my community, and I wanted to become that resource and that vessel for them. I became the PrEP Navigator here at Desert AIDS Project, and I have since expanded my knowledge of PrEP. I still work in the community and educate them on Prevention, but now it is compilation with PrEP. It is something very close to me, and something that I take great pride in.

If there were one thing you wish people knew about PrEP what would it be?

Preparation – PrEP prepares and protects you, it gives you the power to decide for yourself and your life, and it’s all in your own hands.

How can people get in connect with you or a member of the PrEP Education team?

We have our sexual wellness clinic, The DOCK that is open Monday-Friday 10-6:30 pm, which can serve people on a walk-in basis. You are more than welcome to walk-in and speak with myself, or you can call ahead and reach me here at Desert AIDS Project.

How can people get in connect with you or a member of the PrEP Education team?

Whether you’re curious about the benefits of PrEP or looking for help with your insurance, you can schedule a PrEP Talk appointment with a member of the Health Education team by submitting your info here: PrEP Talk Appointment

Raven Mendez is a Palm Desert native and seasoned PrEP Education and Navigation Specialist at Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, CA. A graduate of the University of California-Riverside with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology, Raven helps Coachella Valley residents secure access to PrEP, health insurance benefits, and provides linkage to care support.