NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, fashion designer and Project Runway All Stars winner, Mondo Guerra, in collaboration with Merck, unveiled an original dress created by the designer and inspired by the HIV Community. The dress is an embodiment of the Community's courage and commitment, and was designed to help inspire people living with HIV to have an open dialogue with their doctor - a key component of the I Design campaign that Mondo and Merck have been bringing to the Community this year. The one-of-a-kind dress will be premiered on World AIDS Day, commemorated on the first of December each year, and will be unveiled on the campaign website, www.ProjectIDesign.com.
"I believe that fashion, as with many forms of art, can serve as a great conversation starter," said Mondo Guerra. "I was inspired by the people I've met through the I Design campaign and a mural created by the HIV Community, and artistically wanted the dress pattern to be abstract to symbolize how every person is different. I hope this dress created for World AIDS Day can be used to further remind people living with HIV about the importance of having meaningful discussions with their doctors."
The commemorative World AIDS Day dress marks another occasion for Mondo, through his work with the I Design campaign, to further spark awareness around the importance of patient-physician communication. On the I Design website visitors can:
- Draw upon their own artistic expression, by creating a digital textile representing their "tailored" approach to treatment
- Download a conversation checklist, the inspiration for the dress, which offers tips on how to engage in an open and honest dialogue with your doctor
- Watch a new video of Mondo and renowned HIV specialist, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, discussing the importance of patient-physician communication
About Mondo's "One-of-a-Kind" HIV Community Inspired Design
The "muse" for the dress' design was a mural created by the Community at the 2012 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), one of the largest annual HIV gatherings in the nation. Each person's artistic and expressive contributions visually demonstrate how everyone approaches managing HIV differently. In constructing the dress, Mondo used design elements representing the multiple layers of the I Design campaign:
- The black bodice and silhouette represent laying the foundation – Taking some time to prepare for appointments can help patients make the most out of every doctor visit
- The use of color blocking represents personalization – Meaningful dialogue with a doctor is important in taking into account each person's unique medical and personal needs
- The red sheer overlay symbolizes the finishing touch – People living with HIV are all different, which is why patients should work with their doctor to find a "tailored" treatment plan
About I Design
I Design is a national HIV education campaign led by Merck and fashion designer Mondo Guerra aimed at helping to empower people living with HIV to have open and meaningful discussions with their doctors about their treatment plan based on their medical and lifestyle needs. To learn more about the campaign visit www.ProjectIDesign.com, where you can design a digital textile illustrating your approach to managing HIV, download a conversation checklist to help patients work with their doctor to "tailor" their treatment plan, and view videos and photos. For additional tips and to follow Merck and Mondo's collaboration on I Design, join Merck and Mondo on Twitter @Merck and @LoveMondoTrasho.
About Mondo Guerra
After an emotional disclosure of his HIV-positive status during Season 8, fashion designer Mondo Guerra won the hearts of the judges, fellow contestants and viewers on the hit reality TV show Project Runway. This spring marked his triumphant return to Project Runway All Stars as the winner of the show.
Mondo has been HIV-positive for more than 10 years, and since his courageous disclosure, has become an advocate for HIV awareness. He is currently collaborating with Merck on I Design, a national HIV education campaign to help empower people living with HIV to play an active role in working with their doctors to design an HIV treatment plan. Mondo continues to serve as a role model in the HIV Community by speaking openly about his status and encouraging others to do the same.
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 and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.