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Project Runway Designer Launches New Video in Online Series to Educate About Living with HIV and AIDS and Help Combat HIV Stigma

(PHILADELPHIA) PRNewswire/ -- Jack Mackenroth, a fashion designer from the hit reality television series "Project Runway," who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years, launched a new "Living Positive By Design: Creating Positive Conversations" online video as part of his national HIV and AIDS education initiative. Each video in the series follows Jack interviewing prominent politicians, advocates, celebrities and HIV doctors, including most recently the mayor of Philadelphia, about their important work to help the HIV and AIDS community. The Living Positive By Design campaign, supported by Merck & Co., Inc., and videos aim to confront HIV stigma and motivate HIV-positive people to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease.

"I am excited to continue my tour of cities with high HIV and AIDS prevalence in the United States for the 'Living Positive By Design: Creating Positive Conversations' video series," said Mackenroth. "While in Philadelphia, a city where more than 20,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS, I spoke with some amazing people who are dedicated to HIV education and service. I hope that their stories will educate and inspire others nationwide."

The new Philadelphia "Living Positive By Design: Creating Positive Conversations" video is now available online. The video features Jack interviewing Mayor Michael Nutter; Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, the co-founder and manager of AIDS Thrift, a local thrift shop that raises money for local HIV and AIDS organizations; and local HIV specialist Dr. William Short of Thomas Jefferson University.

The "Living Positive By Design: Creating Positive Conversations" video series featuring Philadelphia interviews can be posted to any social networking profile, emailed to a friend or embedded to a blog.

Prevalence of HIV and AIDS
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006 there were more than one million Americans living with HIV and AIDS. In the same year, an estimated 56,000 new cases were diagnosed in the U.S. Forty-nine percent of new diagnoses were among African Americans and 50 percent were among men who have sex with men (MSM).