AIDS Walk Announces Honorees

Awards, Recognitions for 28 People and Organizations Who Have Played Prominent Role in Fighting Epidemic

Washington, DC – The 25th annual AIDS Walk Washington will present its annual Courage Award along with Whitman-Walker’s Partner for Life and Community Service awards at the Walk on Oct. 29. In addition, the Walk will recognize “25 for 25,” 25 individuals who have played prominent roles in the fight against HIV/AIDS in DC. Bios of the honorees are attached.

“Each year, Whitman-Walker and AIDS Walk recognize individuals and organizations that are doing outstanding work in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Don Blanchon, executive director of Whitman-Walker Health, the producer and beneficiary of the Walk. “Since this is the 25th AIDS Walk, we also wanted to reflect on the history of the epidemic here in DC and recognize 25 people who played prominent roles in that history. We hope that, through these honors, we will inspire the community to continue this fight until it is won.”

This year’s Courage Award recipient is Justin Goforth, Director of Medical Adherence, Community Health, and the Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic at Whitman-Walker. Whitman-Walker presents the Courage Award annually at AIDS Walk to a person living with HIV or AIDS who has shown remarkable courage and leadership in the fight against the disease.

Aisha Karimah, Director of Community Relations at NBC 4, will receive the Partner for Life award.  NBC 4, a partner with AIDS Walk since 1987, will receive the Community Service award.

AIDS Walk Washington will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Freedom Plaza, beginning at 8:00 am. For more information or to register, call 202-332-WALK or visit

Courage Award – Justin Goforth. Justin Goforth serves as the Director of the Medical Adherence Unit, Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic, and the Community Health Division. Justin has been with Whitman-Walker in several roles since June 2006. In the Medical Adherence Unit, Justin oversees Whitman-Walker’s nurse case management program, nutrition program, treatment adherence programs, social services and referrals to health providers outside Whitman-Walker. Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic is the longest running program at Whitman-Walker and provides safer sex/sexual health counseling, STD testing and treatment and HIV testing to thousands of community members each year. Community Health provides health education, outreach, HIV testing and counseling and preventive health services to thousands of the District’s most vulnerable and at-risk residents each year.

Justin is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience working in HIV prevention and treatment. Justin dedicates his life to reducing the stigma of HIV by living openly as an HIV-positive gay man. 

Partner for Life Award – Aisha Karimah. Aisha Karimah is a native Washingtonian, a graduate of Howard University and currently attends Wesley Theological Seminary. Currently, Aisha is Director of Community Affairs at NBC4, where she has worked since 1969. Over the years, she has championed community campaigns: Beautiful Babies Right from the Start, Drug Free Zones, It Takes a Whole Village, Make the Right Call, Camp 4 Kids, Get Healthy 4 Life and The NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo.

Community Service Award – NBC 4. NBC4 is the #1 broadcast television station in Washington, DC, and the home of NEWS 4, the area's most-watched local news. The staff of NBC4 produces more than 50 hours of news and information programming each week. The station is a longstanding leader in community service and produces or supports more than 35 local community events each year, including the annual NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo, the largest free consumer health event in the country. is Washington's most-visited local television station website.

“25 for 25.”

Bill Austin* - A DC architect living with AIDS, Bill Austin wanted a place where people living with HIV/AIDS could receive care with compassion. He helped to open the first day treatment center at Whitman-Walker which now bears his name.

Cornelius Baker - Cornelius Baker has been a committed HIV/AIDS advocate at the local and national level for nearly two decades, including stints as Executive Director of Whitman-Walker and the National Association of People with AIDS. He currently sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Earline Budd - Earline Budd is a founding member and former Executive Director of Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. (THE). She has dedicated her time to helping others, especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and homelessness.

Hank Carde* - Freeland Henry "Hank" Carde III was a decorated Navy commander who in retirement became a vocal and outspoken AIDS and gay rights activist. He was a volunteer and full-time employee of Whitman-Walker for several years. He died in 1998.

Honorable David Catania – A DC City Councilmember for 14 years, David Catania has used his position as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health to make the HIV/AIDS epidemic a priority of the city government.

Lou Chibbaro – During his more than 30 years as a reporter for the Washington Blade, Lou Chibbaro has written countless stories on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the local community. He has continued to keep Blade readers up to date on the current state of the epidemic and the government response to it.

Barbara Chinn - For more than 20 years, Barbara Chinn has done whatever needed to be done to provide support and education to a community gripped by the AIDS epidemic. She served for an extended time at Whitman-Walker and is currently a Program Manager at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Steven Dixon, MD* – Dr. Dixon was an OB/GYN practicing in the DC area when the HIV/AIDS epidemic struck. He used his medical background to provide counsel and services to a growing population of people living with HIV, including women. He served for many years on the Whitman-Walker board of directors and chaired several AIDS Walks. Dr. Dixon died unexpectedly in 2002.

Honorable Jay Fisette – Jay Fisette was elected to the Arlington County Board in 1997, becoming the first openly gay elected official in Virginia. Prior to his election, Jay was the first director of Whitman-Walker of Northern Virginia. In both positions, he has worked to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Tipper Gore – During her time in Washington as the wife of the Vice President, Tipper Gore lent her name and her considerable clout to the fight against HIV/AIDS. She served as honorary chair for the dedication of Whitman-Walker’s Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center and participated in several AIDS Walks during the 1990s.

Shannon Hader, MD - Dr. Hader is a well-known public health and international development physician with a long-standing commitment to the HIV/AIDS response. She was director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Division of the DC Department of Health, where she helped to focus and improve the city’s response to the epidemic.

Patricia Hawkins, PhD – Pat Hawkins has become a living legend in the DC LGBT community for her decades of activism. She was one of the first responders to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s and has spent the last 30 years fighting the epidemic as an activist and a therapist.

Henry Masur, MD - Dr. Masur leads the DC Partnership for AIDS Progress, a unique collaboration between NIH and the DC government which aims to create an urban model for decreasing the impact of HIV/AIDS on underserved populations.

Miguel Meija - Miguel Mejia has worked with Whitman-Walker since 1992. He is a certified HIV Counselor and was part of HIV/AIDS service interventions for the Office of Latino Services and Coordinator of street outreach activities (condoms distribution).

Patricia Nalls – Patricia Nalls founded The Women’s Collective after several years of living in isolation about her HIV diagnosis. She committed herself to finding, supporting and organizing women with HIV/AIDS. The Women’s Collective offers programs for women and families living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton – Now in her 11th term as Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, Eleanor Holmes Norton has been a tireless advocate for local control of and federal resources for the city’s response to its HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Carl Schmid - The deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute is at every government meeting to which the public is invited, and many the public is not. He stands tirelessly for the rights of people with HIV and fought to get more funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

Sunnye Sherman* – As one of the first women in the U.S. to publicly reveal her HIV status, Sunnye Sherman helped to break down stereotypes about who was at risk for HIV/AIDS. She died in 1986.

Ron Simmons - His leadership of Us Helping Us, People Into Living is one of Dr. Ron Simmons’ greatest contributions to the local gay community. The organizational strength and fundraising ability that Simmons brought to Us Helping Us enabled it to become the first independent Black AIDS group to own its own premises. 

Walter Smith - Walter Smith is Executive Director of the DC Appleseed Center, a nonprofit public interest organization addressing issues facing the National Capital area. Under his direction, the organization has started evaluating the city’s response to HIV/AIDS and recommending improvements.

Adam Tenner - Adam Tenner, executive director of Metro TeenAIDS since 2001, has spent over 20 years working to improve the lives of youth. Adam helped to turn MTA into a thriving organization with a staff of more than 50 adults and 50 youth peer educators, and an annual budget of more than $3 million.

Doug Ward, MD – Dr. Ward has spent his entire professional career with the Dupont Circle Physicians Group, a private practice where he specializes in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. He is also an investigator with the Washington Regional AIDS Consortium and HIV Outpatient Study, a CDC sponsored national observational database.

Channing Wickham - Since 1994, Channing has overseen all aspects of the Washington AIDS Partnership, including fundraising, grantmaking, program planning and technical assistance. His work has proved invaluable to HIV/AIDS service organizations across the city.

Reverend Dr. Christine Wiley - The Reverend Dr. Christine Y. Wiley serves with her husband, Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, at the Covenant Baptist Church. She and her husband have made DC’s HIV/AIDS epidemic a major discussion point and call to action for Covenant Baptist.

Patricia Wudel - Patricia Wudel started volunteering for Joseph's House in the early 1990s, often being on-call overnight while working elsewhere fulltime during the day. She has served as Executive Director for Joseph’s House since 1998, and is responsible for overseeing the work while steering its mission. 


Established in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit community health center located in Washington, DC. Our mission is to be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care. Whitman-Walker Health offers primary medical and dental care; mental health and addictions counseling and treatment; HIV education, prevention, and testing; legal services; and medical adherence care management.  We are especially committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.