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).
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SOURCE Living Positive By Design