Vangardist, a progressive men’s magazine based in Vienna and published in both English and German, is printing its next issue with HIV-infected blood on its cover to bring awareness to HIV and AIDS. While it normally prints 100,000 copies, there will only be 3,000 copies of the upcoming issue printed with blood on its cover. And it will be delivered in a plastic wrapping.
Three HIV-positive people donated blood for the project — a 26-year-old gay man, an anonymous straight man, and a 45-year-old woman who contracted the disease two decades ago from her husband. He didn’t tell her he was infected. Theirs are some of the stories told in the issue.
It’s been scientifically proven that the disease cannot survive long outside of the host, so it’s safe to handle. On top of that, the blood was pasteurized and mixed with ink. Though printers were reluctant and we’d imagine many readers might be as well. Activists were also concerned that there could be a backlash, setting back the cause rather than moving it forward.
“With HIV/AIDS still the sixth-leading cause of death worldwide, claiming 1.5 million lives each year,” says CBS News. So this is a cause worth paying attention to.
In addition to the 3,000 special copies, the issue will be available online with a request for donation to an HIV/AIDS organization, there will be 15,000 copies printed with regular ink, and a number of copies will be auctioned off.