Whitman-Walker Readies 2013 AIDS Walk

Health center's biggest annual fundraiser marking 27th year

By John Riley
Published on September 12, 2013, 7:42am | Comments

Whitman-Walker Health, the nonprofit community health center that specializes in HIV/AIDS and LGBT-competent care, launched its latest campaign for the 2013 AIDS Walk Washington last week to encourage participation in the event that supports Whitman-Walker's HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts.

The Oct. 26 event, which offers participants an opportunity to walk or run along a 5-kilometer course that weaves through areas around downtown Washington, is held annually as one of Whitman-Walker's largest fundraisers. The 2012 walk raised just over $1 million. This year, its 27th, organizers have already raised about $200,000, according to Chip Lewis, a spokesman for Whitman-Walker Health.

This year's AIDS Walk Washington promotional campaign, titled ''Face the Facts: Walk the Walk,'' shares statistic about D.C.'s HIV epidemic.

''Many people think that the HIV and AIDS crisis is over, or there is no longer an alarm or need for action,'' Whitman-Walker's Executive Director Don Blanchon said in a statement announcing the campaign. ''In Washington, D.C., we have made great progress reducing HIV prevalence rates, but we're not at the finish line yet. Until the number of new HIV infections, people living with HIV, and AIDS deaths all reach zero, our work as an organization and as a community is not done.''

''And the way to get to zero is to face the facts of what is happening in our city and do the work to end this epidemic: get tested regularly, proactively protect yourself, get into treatment if you're HIV-positive and stay in treatment, talk openly and honestly about HIV with your partners, friends and family,'' he continued. ''And show your support for the fight against the epidemic by registering and raising money for AIDS Walk. The funds raised will help to care for thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS in the D.C. area.''

AIDS Walk Washington is Saturday, Oct. 26. The program, centered at downtown D.C.'s Freedom Plaza, 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, begins at 7 a.m. The run steps off at 9:15 a.m., followed by the walk at 9:20 a.m. Registration ranges from $25 to $40, with discounts available for students and seniors. For more information, call 202-745-7000 or visit aidswalkwashington.org.