It was tough times for Jack Mackenroth during season 4 of Project Runway
. The talented fashion designer was forced to abruptly withdraw from the competition due to a serious staph infection. While there was talk of him returning for season 5, he opted to focus on his career instead of making a second appearance on reality television. He is also working on bettering his community and recently launched an HIV and AIDS education campaign called Living Positive By Design, in New York. "I am excited to be nationally launching Living Positive By Design in partnership with organizations that are committed to improving the lives of people living with HIV and to be debuting the signature campaign scarf I created," said Mackenroth.
Mackenroth, who has been living with HIV for nearly 20 years, is using his campaign to "address the stigma still associated with the disease and highlighting the importance for people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease." For the launch event, he designed a signature scarf, which symbolizes encouraging those living with HIV to maintain a positive outlook on life while managing their disease.
For the national launch of Living Positive By Design, Jack partnered with expert physician Dr. Martin Markowitz, clinical director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, NY. "One of the goals of Living Positive By Design is to educate people living with HIV that taking medications to help reduce the amount of virus in the blood to undetectable levels and helping to try restoring their immune system must be some of the priorities for today's disease management," said Dr. Markowitz. "In addition to this, with new advancements in HIV treatment, physicians should also factor in the tolerability of treatment regimens."
Jack recently spoke about Living Positive By Design in Florida and Georgia, and plans to continue traveling the country to spread his message. In the next year, he plans to visit several more cities, including San Francisco and Houston.
- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of PopCrunch)