David Peralta Torres is a native El Pasoan who noticed the lack of medical resources that catered to the specific needs of the LGBTQ community and took it upon himself to make a change. David P. Torres is an activist and Epidemiologist for the El Paso Health Department who has created several outreach programs that have helped to increase access to quality health care and social services.
David was born in El Paso Texas. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso where he received his B.A. in Theater Arts in 2002 and was recognized with the Distinguished Film Student Award. In 2016, he earned his Master’s degree in Public Health and was recognized with the Outstanding Student in Public Health Award.
After graduating, Torres began working as a high school drama teacher for EPISD in 2003, and in 2007 he began working at Lumenbrite Training as an administrative assistant. In 2009, Torres worked as an HIV Educational Prevention Specialist for the El Paso Department of Public Health. Torres oversaw developing community-level outreach activities and educational HIV prevention strategies. That same year, David became the project coordinator at M Factor El Paso. M Factor El Paso is an HIV prevention social networking organization for men who have sex with men. M Factor conducts HIV screenings, educational training, and workshops to demonstrate the importance of safer sex practices. The group also hosts opportunities to get involved in the community and field trips including group discussions, movie nights, and hikes in hopes of creating a safe space for the LGBTQ community. M-Factor was and still is, known for its innovative and fun events that bring young high-risk populations together to learn about HIV prevention and treatment.
In 2016, Dr. Oralia Loza, David Torres, and a fellow classmate Carlos Alverez launched the website The Purple Pages. The Purple Pages is a website that connects the LGBTQ community to friendly healthcare, mental health, and social service providers around the El Paso region. Part of the work that the team completed was a survey completed by providers that collected data that was later used to write a 2018 peer-reviewed article regarding the social service and health providers serving sexual and gender minorities in the Borderland.
Torres is also an avid amateur photography, having shot hundreds of stunning photos of the Borderland over the years. He has worked with traditional film, often developing and printing photos himself, as well as using digital technology. He provided many photos and graphic designs for Rio Grande Adelante, an LGBTQ social organization that existed in El Paso between 1999 and 2011.
Today, Torres works for the Texas Department of State Health Services as an Epidemiologist. Torres works in the Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Program where he monitors illnesses throughout West Texas and Southern New Mexico. David P. Torre’s work has not only helped to create a safe space for the LGBTQ community but also his efforts have helped give the community access to friendly health care, free from discrimination and ostracism.