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'Project Runway' Designer Brings Living Positive By Design Campaign to New York to Educate About Living With HIV and Combat Stigma Associated With the Disease

Jack Mackenroth to debut signature campaign scarf at Gay Men's Health Crisis Fashion Forward fundraiser event

NEW YORK, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack Mackenroth, from the hit reality television series "Project Runway," is nationally debuting an HIV and AIDS education campaign called Living Positive By Design, in New York, at the Gay Men's Health Crisis Fashion Forward event. At Fashion Forward, Jack will unveil a signature campaign scarf and address attendees regarding the campaign. The Living Positive By Design campaign, a sponsor of Fashion Forward, seeks to help combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversation about the condition and is being supported by Merck & Co., Inc.

"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. "Through Living Positive By Design, I will be speaking about my experiences living with HIV for nearly 20 years, addressing 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."

The Gay Men's Health Crisis Fashion Forward event is being held on Monday, November 10, 2008 at Skylight Studios. All attendees of the event will receive a signature Living Positive By Design scarf, designed by Jack to symbolize the campaign's goals of combating stigma and encouraging those people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life, while effectively managing their disease. Jack will also be partnering with expert physician Dr. Martin Markowitz, clinical director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, NY, for the national launch of Living Positive By Design.

"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 held Living Positive By Design events in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) and Atlanta, Georgia. He will continue to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS over the next year through events in several cities, including San Francisco and Houston. For additional information on Living Positive By Design and participating cities, please visit:

Prevalence of HIV and AIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans are living with HIV and AIDS in the United States and approximately 55,000 new people become infected every year. In 2006, 49 percent of new diagnoses were among African Americans and 50 percent were among men who have sex with men (MSM). New York State has the highest number of reported AIDS cases compared to any other state in the U.S. There were 100,642 HIV and AIDS cases in New York City through 2007.

About Gay Men's Health Crisis

Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. Their mission is to reduce the spread of HIV disease, help people with HIV maintain and improve their health and independence and keep the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV an urgent national and local priority.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit

Forward-looking statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking

statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company's periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.

Media Contacts:

Rachi Govil Michelle Ouellette

O: (212) 798-9827 O: (212) 798-9823

M: (908) 415-8933 M: (781) 710-3732

SOURCE Living Positive By Design
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