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Magazine prints issue using ink laced with HIV positive blood

Magazine prints issue using ink laced with HIV positive blood

An Austrian magazine has used ink infused with the blood of three HIV+ people to print a special edition of their current issue.

Vangardist magazine, usually only available online, release their third print issue, called the Heroes-issue, next week.

A special edition of 3.000 copies have been printed with ink containing blood donated by three HIV positive men; a further 15.000 copies have been printed using normal ink.

Julian Wiehl, CEO and Vangardist’s editor, told Gay Star News they were aiming to send a message to the world – a message especially relevant while Austria is in the media focus.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest and the Life Ball, one of the biggest HIV and AIDS charity events in the world, are both held in Viennna with only three days between events.  

‘If I pick up this magazine and hold it in my hand, I confront myself – and I confront my fears and prejudices,’ Wiehl described the ides behind the issue.

Each of the special editions, available from 4 May in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, comes wrapped in plastic and carries the note ‘break the seal and help break the stigma’.

 ‘If there is an infection, we should try and cure it, not stigmatize it,’ Wiehl said.

‘Some of the biggest symptoms of HIV are listed as isolation and depression.’

He continued: ‘As long as something like this is seen as provoking it means that the topic of HIV is not done being talked about.’

Touching the issue does not hold any risk of infection, but Wiehl said some comments online accused Vangardist of ‘trying to murder people’.

The idea was developed by Swiss advertising agency Saatchi + Saatchi, who considered Vangardist to be the ideal carrier.

‘With this unique project, we want to create a response in a heartbeat by transforming the media into the very root of the stigma itself – by printing every word, line, picture and page of the magazine with blood from HIV+ people,‘ Jason Romeyko, the agency’s executive creative director, said.

‘By holding the issue, readers immediately break the taboo.’

The publication of the special edition is part of a new campaign called #HIVHeroes, aiming to break the stigma and allow people to show their support for HIV positive people.