Whitman-Walker’s Walk to End HIV has been moved to Saturday, Dec. 2, due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to a press release from the federally qualified community health center.
Now in its 37th year, the annual fundraiser that raises money for Whitman-Walker Health’s HIV prevention and treatment services, had originally been scheduled for Saturday, October 21, but now moves to the day after the commemoration of World AIDS Day.
The rescheduled walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Anacostia Park, with the start and finish line adjacent to the Anacostia Park Roller Skating Pavilion, at 1500 Anacostia Drive SE in Washington, D.C.
The Walk to End HIV is one of the largest HIV awareness events in the country, typically drawing more than 3,000 participants to the District each year. While individual participants are not required to raise a minimum amount to participate, many do seek out donations from family, friends, and co-workers, who pledge a set amount on condition of completing the walk. Some companies also sponsor teams of employees that participate in the event.
This year’s walk will feature several pre- and post-event activities, including remarks from Whitman-Walker Health CEO Naseema Shafi and Whitman-Walker Health System interim CEO Cindy Lewin, presentations honoring sponsors, live entertainment from the Gay Men’s Chorus, live music, food trucks, and booths touting the work of community partner organizations.
Specializing in HIV care, primary care, and LGBTQ competent health care services, Whitman-Walker currently serves clients at the center’s two locations — its 1525 building, located on 14th Street in the Logan Circle neighborhood, and the newly opened Max Robinson Center, located on the campus of Saint Elizabeths East in Southeast D.C.’s Congress Heights neighborhood.
Organizers hope to raise at least $550,000 from the Walk to End HIV, with proceeds benefitting Whitman-Walker’s various support services.
Examples of those services include peer support programs for LGBTQ seniors living with HIV, including events to combat isolation, free testing and prevention counseling for those who are HIV-negative, and mobile testing vans that can outreach to community members, encouraging them to get tested, know their status, and, in some cases, seek treatment.
The walk is sponsored by several Premier Partners, including Anybill, a corporate tax payment company, Gilead Sciences, Maxor National Pharmacy Services, Amazon, local developer Redbrick LMD, law firms Morgan Lewis, Kelley Drye, and Akin Gump, and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Organizers are hoping to obtain additional corporate sponsorships over the next few months.
For more information on the Walk to End HIV, to register as a participant, visit the event’s website at www.walktoendhiv.org.
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