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'Project Runway' Fashion Designer Brings Living Positive By

October 15, 2008
-- Jack Mackenroth to kick off AIDS Walk Atlanta weekend with local educational event

ATLANTA, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack Mackenroth, from the hit reality television series "Project Runway," is coming to Atlanta to speak about a national HIV and AIDS education campaign called Living Positive By Design that he is involved with, in partnership with HIV and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) across the country. Mackenroth will kick off the AIDS Walk Atlanta weekend with a local Living Positive By Design educational event on Friday, October 17th. On Sunday, October 19th, Jack will lead the Living Positive By Design team for AIDS Walk Atlanta with a group of community supporters. Living Positive By Design 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 participating in Living Positive By Design in partnership with organizations that are committed to improving the lives of people living with HIV," 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 Living Positive By Design educational event, which is open to the public, will take place on Friday, October 17th at the W Hotel Atlanta - Midtown. Jack will be joined by representatives from the ASOs SisterLove and Central City AIDS Network who will share updates on their national and local HIV initiatives. Dr. Jeffrey Stephens, professor of internal medicine at the Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA, will also be on hand to discuss the current landscape of HIV and AIDS treatment and the future of HIV research.

"One of the goals of Living Positive By Design is to educate people living with HIV that lowering the amount of virus in their blood to an undetectable level and boosting their immune response are priorities for disease management," said Dr. Stephens. "In addition to this, with new advancements in HIV treatment, physicians should also factor in the tolerability of treatment regimens and consider their patients' quality of life."

Living Positive By Design was recently launched in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), and beyond Atlanta will continue to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS over the next several months through events in New York, San Francisco and Houston. For additional information on Living Positive By Design and participating cities, 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). According to 2007 estimates, there were 32,740 HIV and AIDS cases in Georgia, a 27 percent jump over the number reported in 2004.

About SisterLove

SisterLove, Inc., founded in July of 1989, is an organization dedicated to eradicating the impact of HIV and AIDS and other reproductive health challenges upon women and their families through education, prevention, support and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world.

About Central City AIDS Network

Central City AIDS Network is dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV through education and also provides support for people who are living with HIV and AIDS and their families. Their efforts represent what a community can achieve through positive organization and commitment. More information on the organization is available at

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.

Source: Merck & Co., Inc.

CONTACT: Rachi Govil, +1-908-415-8933,, or Jay Williams, +1-917-587-4230,, both for Merck & Co., Inc.

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