Activist Spotlight: Jack Mackenroth

Jack Mackenroth rose to fame as a fashion designer on season 4 of the hit reality show, Project Runway. During the show he disclosed his HIV-positive status. 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 with over 1 million followers on multiple platforms. Most recently he created the viral social media campaign “The HIV Shower Selfie Challenge” which achieved over 26 million impressions in one week with the hashtag #weareALLclean. The campaign was translated into over 8 languages, and covered in over 100 media outlets.

Jack is also the creator of the national anti-stigma campaign HIV Equal ( He is credited with coining the term “HIV equal” as a non-stigmatizing alternative to “HIV-positive” or “HIV-negative:. He served as the media strategist at Housing Works—a nonprofit in New York, which fights the duel crisis of homelessness and HIV/AIDS, where he created the #PrEPheroes campaign ( He was previously the national spokesperson for the Merck Pharmaceutical HIV education campaign “Living Positive by Design” for 4 years. He has traveled the world speaking at AIDS conferences, pride events, galas and fundraisers.

He is currently the Senior Communications Officer at MSMGF (The Global Forum on MSM and HIV). ( In early 2016 he was given the honor of Wet Platinum Man of the Year for 2015.


Jack is 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, Jack 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.

You can follow him on social media here:   



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