It's estimated that in the District of Columbia, one in every 20 adults is HIV-positive. On a wider scale, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than one million Americans are living with HIV—and up to one-third of them are unaware of it. AIDS Walk Washington DC first took to the streets on June 28, 1987, in an effort to increase awareness and raise money in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It's an event that has taken place annually ever since, and one that has grown to include a timed runners' portion and a packed schedule of pre- and post-race activities.
Today, Whitman-Walker Health—a non-profit, community-based organization that strives to make high quality care accessible to those affected by HIV/AIDS—orchestrates the AIDS Walk. On the event day, Whitman-Walker unveils its most prominent honor: the Courage Award, given to an individual living with HIV or AIDS who has demonstrated extraordinary behavior in fighting the disease. The day's recognition doesn't end there. A post-race celebration exalts the walk's collective accomplishments, including acknowledgement of top fundraisers.