About / Our History
Since 1973, Whitman-Walker has been a place where people can just be themselves without fear of judgement or retribution. Learn more about our organizational roots below.
NOVEMBER 197301 November 1973
The Gay Men’s VD Clinic, part of the Washington Free Clinic, begins operating in the basement of the Georgetown Lutheran Church.
197601 January 1976
The clinic hires its first full time staff.
197715 July 1977
Clinic leaders separate from the Washington Free Clinic and begin to develop their vision for a new, diverse healthcare organization.
JANUARY 197801 January 1978
On January 13th Whitman-Walker Clinic is officially chartered. The DC Department of Human Resources provides $15,000, the first city funds to support the organization.
OCTOBER 197801 October 1978
Whitman-Walker Clinic opens a new, rented facility at 1606 17th St, NW.
198013 February 1980
A financial crisis threatens the clinic. The administrator resigns; programs are eliminated. The clinic moves into more affordable space on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. An as-yet-unnamed mysterious new disease begins striking primarily gay men in the nation’s largest cities.
APRIL 198101 April 1981
Board member Jim Graham becomes Clinic president.
JUNE 198101 June 1981
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report contains an account of five young gay men who had an unusual cluster of infections. This is the first medical report on what would come to be known as AIDS.
SEPTEMBER 198101 September 1981
Whitman-Walker hires its first board-certified medical technologist for an in-house laboratory.
JULY 198201 July 1982
The CDC identifies a condition that is later named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.