“Project Runway” finalist Mondo Guerra stopped by Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss the heavy topic of HIV and AIDS awareness in honor of World AIDS Day. The fashion designer, who is working with advocacy group UNAIDS, has been living with HIV for a decade.
During the visit, his first to D.C., Guerra met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), hometown Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and staffers from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and House Energy and Commerce committees.
“I think this is a cause that needs to be addressed,” Guerra tells HOH. “People have stopped having a conversation about it, which is adding to the epidemic.”
While Guerra and his partner, Ben Duchaine, came to discuss HIV and AIDS, it wasn’t the only topic on their minds. Turns out Duchaine is a gay former Marine and the two support overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“We’re kind of like the odd couple,” Guerra says. “We deal with issues being talked about here but in different ways.”
But the visit wasn’t all work. After a day of lobbying on the Hill, Guerra planned to stop by the White House for a private tour of the holiday decorations in the East Wing.
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.