'Project Runway' Star to Lead Team at California's Largest HIV/AIDS Fundraising Event

Jack Mackenroth to captain the Living Positive By Design team at the 26th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles

Oct 15, 2010, 12:00 ET from Living Positive By Design

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack Mackenroth, from the popular television series "Project Runway," is bringing his national HIV education campaign Living Positive By Design to California's largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event, the 26th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles.  At the Walk, on Sunday, October 17th, Jack will lead the Living Positive By Design team alongside the anticipated 30,000 walkers.  Living Positive By Design is a partnership with Merck that seeks to help combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversation about the disease.  

"I am honored to be bringing Living Positive By Design to Los Angeles to help combat the stigma still associated with HIV.  At this year's AIDS Walk Los Angeles, I hope to engage people in thoughtful conversation about the disease and to encourage those living with the disease to have a positive outlook on life," said Jack Mackenroth, who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years.  "Through my partnership with Merck, I hope to motivate people living with HIV in Los Angeles to have a 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."  

While in Los Angeles, Jack will also be meeting with several local AIDS service organizations to discuss his personal story, the Living Positive By Design campaign and the status of HIV education in California.  In addition, on Saturday, October 16th, Jack will be bringing Living Positive By Design to the Angels of Change fundraiser.

Since the launch of Living Positive By Design, Jack has visited 12 cities, bringing the campaign's messages to cities hardest hit by the HIV epidemic.  He will continue to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS throughout 2010, reaching 15 cities by December of this year.  In addition to combating the stigma associated with HIV, the campaign also encourages people living with HIV to work with their doctor on an ongoing basis to select a treatment regimen that keeps their viral load at an undetectable level.  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 in the U.S. and more than 56,000 new people become infected every year. California has the second highest number of reported AIDS cases in the U.S., with 142,918 cumulative cases. More than one-third of people living with HIV/AIDS in California reside in Los Angeles County.  

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. Merck. Be well. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

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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.

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SOURCE Living Positive By Design