'Project Runway' Designer Comes Full Circle to Educate About Living with HIV and Combat Stigma Associated with the Disease at United States Conference on AIDS
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30 -- Jack Mackenroth, from the hit reality television series "Project Runway," is visiting San Francisco for the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) and is bringing Living Positive By Design, his national HIV and AIDS education initiative, to the city. On Saturday, October 31st, Jack will host a talk show session at the conference where he will engage special guests in lively discussions on important HIV topics including the stigma that still exists around the disease, goals of treatment and disease awareness in the fashion industry. The Living Positive By Design campaign seeks to combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversation about the disease and is supported by Merck & Co., Inc.
"I launched Living Positive By Design in partnership with Merck at USCA last year, and I am proud to be in San Francisco to come full circle with this impactful campaign," said Mackenroth, who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years. "Through Living Positive By Design, I hope to highlight the importance for people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease and to combat the stigma still associated with HIV."
In addition to Jack, local HIV specialist Lisa Capaldini, M.D., will also be on-site at the conference to discuss the current landscape of HIV and AIDS treatment and research.
"Through Living Positive By Design, we hope to reinforce the importance of disease management for people living with HIV in San Francisco and around the country," said Dr. Capaldini. "There are many different options available today for the treatment of HIV. We want to encourage people living with the disease to work with their doctor to find a treatment regimen that is right for them."
Jack has brought Living Positive By Design to Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL, at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA); Atlanta, GA, at the Atlanta AIDS Walk; New York, NY, at GMHC's annual Fashion Forward fundraiser; the Academy of Friends' annual Academy Awards Night Gala in San Francisco, CA; the AIDS Walk Houston in Houston, TX ; the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's Make a Statement: Design for the Cure event in Chicago, IL; the N/O AIDS Task Force Walk in New Orleans, LA; and Philadelphia, PA for AIDS Walk Philly. For more information on Living Positive By Design, please visit: www.LivingPositiveByDesign.com.
Prevalence of HIV and AIDS
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans are living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. and approximately 55,000 new people become infected every year. California has the second highest number of reported AIDS cases compared to any other state in the U.S., with 142,918 cumulative cases. At the end of 2008, 15,757 San Francisco residents were living with HIV or AIDS.
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SOURCE Living Positive By Design