Mondo Guerra of Project Runway All Stars Hosts Interactive Community Art
Project at One of the Largest Annual HIV Gatherings in the United States
Recently Launched HIV Education Campaign, I Design, Helps Foster
LAS VEGAS, Sept. 28, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD
outside the United States and Canada, announced today that fashion designer
and Project Runway All Stars winner, Mondo Guerra, is bringing the national
HIV education campaign I Design to Las Vegas this week to participate in the
2012 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA).
During USCA, Mondo will be on-site to meet attendees and talk about his work
with I Design. Further, attendees are being invited to join Mondo in the
creation of a community mural each day during the three-day exhibit hall at
USCA to motivate the community to help improve patient-physician
communications, much like creating a textile on the I Design website.
Participants working on the mural will "lay the foundation," "personalize"
their design, and add "finishing touches" to the mural, while learning key
tips on how to engage in an open and honest dialogue with their doctor. Mondo
is also encouraging people who are unable to attend USCA to participate in the
design activity online at www.ProjectIDesign.com, where they can create a
digital textile representing their "tailored" approach. Several digital
textiles have already been designed by visitors to the website and are
currently featured in the design gallery. This mural will further serve as
inspiration for a Mondo-designed fashion piece to be unveiled on World AIDS
"I am honored to bring I Design to the thousands of community leaders and
advocates who will be attending USCA this year, and am eager to convey the
importance of meaningful patient-physician discussions through the creation of
a community mural," said Guerra. "As a fashion designer, I understand the
personal benefit of artistic self-expression, and I also know how important it
is to find a treatment plan that works for you. I Design encourages an open
dialogue so people living with HIV can become active participants in their
approach to managing their HIV."
USCA is organized by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), an
organization that represents a coalition of 3,000 faith- and community-based
organizations and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) nationwide. This year,
the conference runs from September 30 to October 3 and will be held at Caesars
Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. USCA is one of several stops for the I Design
campaign, which was originally launched earlier this year in New York City,
and also had a presence at the XIX International AIDS Conference (IAC) in
Washington, D.C. As part of the I Design campaign, Mondo was in Los Angeles
earlier this month for a local HIV community event and is slated to
participate in upcoming local ASO events this year. I Design encourages
people living with HIV to have meaningful and open discussions with their
doctor that take into account their unique medical and lifestyle needs.
"Engaging in open communication between patients and physicians is important
because everyone living with HIV is different, and their treatment plans
should reflect that," said Michael Gottlieb, MD, a leading HIV physician who
authored the first CDC report on HIV in 1981. "According to the newest HIV-1
treatment guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
individualizing HIV treatment with involvement from both the patient and
physician in decision making 'is the cornerstone of any 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 design a digital textile
illustrating your approach to managing HIV, and to learn more about the
campaign, please visit www.ProjectIDesign.com. For additional tips and to
follow Merck and Mondo's collaboration on I Design, join Merck and Mondo on
Twitter @Merck and @LoveMondoTrasho.
More about Mondo
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 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.
Contact: Tracy Ogden, +1-267-305-2301, or Kim Angelastro, +1-212-798-9740
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