A men’s magazine has printed its latest issue using ink infused with HIV-positive blood in a bid to break the taboo associated with the disease.
Three people living with the HIV virus donated blood for the 3000 copies of the May issue of the German monthly Vangardist, which will undoubtedly become a collector’s item.
The magazine says handling a copy of the edition carries no risk of infection as it was produced according “to the most stringent controls” using guidelines set by Harvard and Innsbruck University.
Despite 30 years of campaigning, activism and research, HIV remains the sixth biggest cause of death in the world, the publishers say.
“Yet for many people the virus is seen as old news, with discussion and debate relegated to just one or two days a year when key communities and organisations around the world force the issue back onto the news agenda,” they said.
Vangardist CEO Julian Wiehl said the lifestyle magazine had a responsibility to address issues shaping society and topics affecting its readers.
He said 80 per cent more confirmed cases of HIV were recorded in 2013 than 10 years previously, and an estimated 50 per cent of HIV cases are being detected late because of a lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus.
Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland executive creative director Jason Romeyko, who helped create the issue, said the magazine wanted help to raise awareness of HIV.
“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 positive people,” he said.
“By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo.”