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'Project Runway' Designer in Philadelphia for AIDS Walk Philly to Educate About Living with HIV through Living Positive By Design
Date:10/18/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack Mackenroth, from the hit reality television series "Project Runway," is visiting Philadelphia for this year's annual AIDS Walk Philly and is bringing Living Positive By Design, a national HIV and AIDS education initiative, to the city. On Sunday, October 18th, Jack will participate in and speak at the Walk, which benefits 30 HIV organizations throughout the Delaware Valley Region through the AIDS Fund. The Living Positive By Design campaign seeks to help combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversation about the disease and is supported by Merck & Co., Inc.

"Merck's ongoing commitment to the HIV community is demonstrated through Living Positive By Design, which highlights the importance for people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease," said Mackenroth, who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years. "Philadelphia has been greatly impacted by HIV and I am proud to be partnering with Merck to bring awareness about the disease to their hometown."

In addition to Jack, local HIV specialist, William R. Short, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University will be available the weekend of the AIDS Walk to discuss the current landscape of HIV and AIDS treatment and research.

"There are many different treatment options available today. People with HIV should work with their doctor to find a treatment regimen that is right for them," said Dr. Short. "Through Living Positive By Design, we hope to educate the people living with HIV in Philadelphia about the importance of disease management."

Living Positive By Design was launched in 2008 in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL, at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). Since then, Jack has brought the campaign to Atlanta, GA at the Atlanta AIDS Walk; New York, NY at the Gay Men's Health Crisis' (GMHC) annual Fashion Forward fundraiser; San Francisco, CA at the Academy of Friends' annual Academy Awards Night Gala; Houston, TX at the AIDS Walk Houston; Chicago, IL at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's Make a Statement: Design for the Cure event; and most recently to New Orleans, LA at the NO/AIDS Task Force's NO/AIDS Walk. He will continue to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS through events in additional cities in the coming months. 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 and AIDS in the U.S. and approximately 55,000 new people become infected every year.(1), (2) At the end of 2008, there were 31,977 people living with AIDS in the state of Pennsylvania.(3) There are more than 20,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia(1) and roughly 1,400 new HIV diagnoses each year.(4)

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 www.merck.com.

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, 2008, 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.

References

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS in the United States. (August 2008) Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm. Accessed April 1, 2009.

(2) Hall HI, Song R, Rhodes P. Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008;520-529.

(3) Pennsylvania Department of Health. Surveillance Annual Summary (December 2008).

(4) Department of public health - Philadelphia http://www.phila.gov/Health/units/aaco/pdfs/demo_trends.pdf (2007).

SOURCE Living Positive By Design


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SOURCE Living Positive By Design
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