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Jack Mackenroth  

Fashion Designer, Model & AIDS Activist

Activist Jack Mackenroth discusses his personal journey living with HIV since 1989. He presents the reality of HIV infection in a context that everyone can understand: fear, loneliness and isolation and changes opinions by explaining why there is reasons for hope and optimism. Jack highlights risk, the importance of protection and many of the exciting new medical advances that are changing the epidemic.

Mackenroth rose to fame as a designer on the hit reality show, Project Runway. Since that time he has used his visibility to draw attention and awareness to HIV issues. After being diagnosed as HIV positive in 1989, Mackenroth has worked tirelessly to combat the stigma associated with HIV by living openly and being a role model through his professional and athletic endeavors.

He is also known as a social media powerhouse. Most recently he created the viral social media campaign “The HIV Shower Selfie Challenge” which achieved over 25 million impressions in one week with the hashtag #weareALLclean. The campaign was translated into over 6 languages, covered in over 100 media outlets and is relaunching in 2015.

Jack is also the creator of the national anti-stigma campaign HIV Equal (HIVequal.org) He is currently the media strategist at Housing Works—a nonprofit in New York, which fights the duel crisis of homelessness and HIV/AIDS. He was previously the national spokesperson for the HIV education campaign “Living Positive by Design” for 4 years. He has traveled the world speaking at AIDS conferences, pride events, galas and fundraisers.

Outside of his activism, Jack Mackenroth is a fashion designer, model and All-American swimmer. He worked at Tommy Hilfiger, Levi's and Weatherproof Activewear and appeared on the fourth season of Project Runway. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in fine arts and sociology, he also attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City.

As a fitness and fashion model in the 1990s, Mackenroth appeared in numerous magazines, such as Men's Fitness, Men’s Health and L’Uomo Vogue. After Project Runway, he graced the covers of many magazines, including reFRESH, POZ, HIVplus and Gloss. His fashion illustrations have also been featured in Nylon, Elle and in ad campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Sushi Clothing.

Also a competitive swimmer, he has earned three All-American titles, and in the summer of 2006 he set a national record for the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 50 meter relay at the Masters World Championships in Stanford, California. He competed in the 2009 Outgames held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, where he earned seven medals.

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