Mondo Guerra broadcasted an important message about HIV and health to his social media followers on The Advocate's Day in LGBT campaign Tuesday.
During the social media campaign, in which hundreds of LGBT people snapped a moment of their daily lives with the hashtag #DayInLGBT, the gay Under the Gunn reality star posted a festive selfie with his partner, Eddie, on Twitter and Instagram.
In captions, the Project Runway alumnus revealed that his relationship was serodiscordant, meaning one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
"In a discordant status relationship open communication is empire," the HIV-positive activist wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the pair smiling in front of holiday lights.
— Mondo Guerra (@LoveMondoTrasho) December 10, 2014
"My partner, Eddie and myself are in a discordant status relationship," the HIV-positive clarified in a longer Instagram caption. "It's important to continue to have open conversations that concern both of out healthy lives as individuals and together."
The 36-year-old fashion designer has become a prominent HIV activist since coming out as positive on season 8 of Project Runway in 2010. He was in the closet about his status for over 10 years. Recently he has joined forces with Merck pharmacutical company for I Design, a campaign that strives to teach HIV-positive patients how to have educated conversations with health care professionals about treatment options.
After Guerra posted his image to social media, The Advocate, which is the sister magazine of HIV Plus, adapted the photo into a digital cover. Social media star Brendan Lucas, Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky, Neon Trees front man Tyler Glenn, transgender activist Kate Bornstein, and fellow I Design spokesman Duane Cramer were among the other prominent LGBT people to be featured in the Day in LGBT campaign.
The Advocate later posted a diary entry written by Guerra as part of the campaign to raise awareness of HIV issues:
On my #DayinLGBT, my partner and I had an open conversation about where we are health-wise. As a serodiscordant couple, we think it is very important to have these open and honest conversations, and we make it a priority to be safe and check in on this topic every few weeks. Later that evening, we had dinner with my sister — who is due to have a baby girl in January — and the thought came to me that without our healthy lives, we would have nothing. We owe it to ourselves as individuals to continue to do what we need to do to be healthy and happy.
I’ve certainly come a long way — for years I lived alone, not sharing my HIV status, because I was ashamed. Then I started having more frank conversations with my doctor, then my family, and now with the general public as part of my HIV advocacy work. Today, I encourage people living with HIV to prepare for and engage in open conversations with their health care team as part of my work on the I Design campaign.
In a cover story for the May/June issue of HIV Plus, Guerra revealed that he had met his partner. Eduardo, more informally known as "the cutest guy ever," at a bar in Denver over a year ago.
“We really connected on an emotional level,” he told HIV Plus.
In the interview, he also spoke about his passion for educating others about HIV issues.
“The most rewarding [experience] is being able to hear everybody’s story and really engaging in conversation with people who are affected by HIV — not necessarily infected, but affected,” Guerra said. “And when you think about it, I think everybody, whether they know it or not, is affected by HIV.”