A recent issue of a “progressive men’s magazine” was printed using the blood of HIV-positive people in hopes of countering the stigma against the disease.
The Austrian magazine Vangardist printed 3,000 special edition copies of its magazine using ink infused with HIV-positive blood. The blood came from three HIV-positive individuals: a gay male, a straight male, and a mother. The “#HIVHEROES” issue of the magazine includes interviews with the individuals who donated the blood as well as people who are fighting to end the stigma against HIV.
The magazine assures handling the copies made with blood are “100% safe” and that the disease is not transmissible through the ink.
Despite maintaining the copies are safe, the issues are reportedly packaged in a plastic bag for legal reasons. According to CBS News, the seal also allegedly contains a disclaimer, stating that buyers waive any right to claim damages in relation to the campaign against Vangardist or Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency that helped the magazine with “#HIVHEROES.”
The magazine is using the plastic packaging to encourage readers to “break the seal and help break the stigma.”
“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. By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo,” Jason Romeyko, the executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland, revealed in a press release.
The magazine encourages readers to “reignite the conversation about HIV — free from taboo and discrimination” since “HIV doesn’t make the news anymore.”