A mystery Austrian printer has used HIV blood-infused ink to print a German men’s magazine, which has the aim of hoping to break the negative stigma surrounding the infectious virus. The publisher refused to reveal the name of the printer. However it did say a Roland 700 press was used to print the #HIVHeroes edition of the Vangardist magazine in Austria, mixing blood donated by three people living with HIV with the ink to print 3000 copies of the magazine’s May edition.
Co-founder of the men’s magazine Julian Wiehl says he wanted to make a statement against the stigma and the irrational fears of HIV and HIV-positive people. Wiehl says the 3000 copies of the spring issue of the magazine are 100 per cent safe. They were created using a process developed according to the guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck universities, which ensures that handling the magazine does not put consumers at risk of infection. “With this 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-positive people,” Wiehl says. “By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo,” he adds. Wiehl says, “We believe that as a lifestyle magazine it is our responsibility to address the issues shaping society today. “If you hold this magazine now in your hands then it is like holding someone that has HIV. Nothing can happen, nothing can harm you holding the magazine and nothing can harm you holding a HIV-positive person. “With 80 per cent more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than 10 years previously, and an estimated 50 per cent of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus, this felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point.”
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