“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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.