'Project Runway' Star to Commemorate World AIDS Day by Combating Stigma Associated with the Disease

Jack Mackenroth to bring HIV education campaign, Living Positive By Design, to Philadelphia World AIDS Day Event

Dec 01, 2010, 08:00 ET from Living Positive By Design

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- On World AIDS Day, Jack Mackenroth, from the popular television series "Project Runway," is bringing his national HIV education campaign Living Positive By Design to Philadelphia for the city's largest event honoring the day.  On December 1, community members will join together to raise awareness at the Philadelphia World AIDS Day Event, which is hosted by the AIDS Fund, the Sapphire Fund and the Broad Street Ministry.  Living Positive By Design is a partnership with Merck that seeks to combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversation about the disease.  

"When I was first diagnosed with HIV more than 20 years ago, World AIDS Day was a time to remember my friends who had recently passed, but now, it is a time to acknowledge how far we've come in the fight against the disease," said Mackenroth.  "There is still a lot of work to be done though, which is why I have partnered with Merck to encourage the global HIV community to band together, not just on World AIDS Day, to continue to combat the stigma still associated with the disease and maintain a positive outlook on life."

Now in its 22nd year, World AIDS Day is one of the most recognized international health days and aims to raise global awareness about the disease.  Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with the disease and 25 million have died from HIV-related causes.

Living Positive By Design also encourages people living with HIV to maintain an open dialogue with their physicians in order to find a treatment regimen that gets their viral load to an undetectable level, and to talk about how to best manage side effects from their medications.

Since the launch of Living Positive By Design, Jack has visited 15 cities, bringing the campaign's messages to areas hardest hit by the HIV epidemic.  For more information on Living Positive By Design, please visit: www.LivingPositiveByDesign.com.

Prevalence of HIV and AIDS

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), approximately 33.4 million people globally are living with HIV.  In the U.S., the number of people living with HIV is higher than ever before and approximately 56,000 new people become infected every year. In 2008 alone 1,396 people in Philadelphia were diagnosed with HIV, and over 20,000 people were living with HIV in the city, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.  Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.  Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions.  We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.  For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts.  Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.  Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care  legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Media Contacts:


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SOURCE Living Positive By Design



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