Jack Mackenroth has released a
15-month calendar with all proceeds benefiting the American
Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the non-profit devoted to
ending HIV/AIDS and founded in part by the late Elizabeth Taylor.
In 2007, Mackenroth became the first
openly gay and HIV-positive contestant on cabler Bravo's Project
Runway. He was forced to abandon the competition due to health
The 42-year-old Mackenroth invited
celebrity photographers to work on the project, including Adam Bouska
(NOH8 Campaign), Rick Day, Carsten Fleck, Frank Louis, James
Franklin, Karl Giant, Tommy Synnamon, Mattheus Lian, Riachard Gerst,
Ray John Pila, Sonny Tong, Thomas Evans, Krys Fox and Preston Cros.
“I have amassed such an amazing
collection of images that I wanted to put out a calendar that will
help to combat the silence and stigma associated with being
HIV-positive,” Mackenroth said.
“If I can raise money for HIV/AIDS
research, it's even better,” he added.
In 2008, Mackenroth told HIV Plus
that he learned he was HIV-positive at the age of 20.
“I was having ulcers in my throat, so
I went to a gastro doctor here in New York,” Mackenroth
said. “He actually tested me [for HIV] without telling me.
And he basically just sat me down and he goes, 'You're HIV-positive.'
He was a jerk about it. I'm sitting there, I'm 20 years old, and
I'm like, 'Oh, my God!' I didn't cry. I thought, 'Fuck! What
the fuck!' And back then – that was 1990 – the prognosis was
really bleak. I just figured I'd never make it to 25, but I ended up
finding some great doctors who really helped me along.”
Mackenroth's memoir Making Lemonaids
will be released this winter.