A Men’s Magazine Cover Infused with HIV-Positive Blood

With its Spring issue, Vienna-based Vangardist magazine is making a bold statement.

To coincide with Life Ball, an annual AIDS charity event in Vienna, Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland partnered with a progressive men’s magazine headquartered in that city for a most unusual issue. From the Saatchi brief:

The front cover of 3,000 copies of Vangardist’s Spring issue is printed with ink infused with HIV+ blood donated by three individuals living with the HIV virus.

The cover and magazine contents have been produced according to the most stringent controls and using processes developed according to guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck universities, ensuring that the handling of a physical copy of the magazines carries no risk of infection, and is 100% safe; the debate and discussion around the magazine and the issue it highlights has already been significant.

Each designated copy of the German and English-language publication is wrapped in plastic and includes a note that reads: ‘Break the seal and help break the stigma.’ Commented Vangardist publisher and CEO Julian Wiehl: “With 80% more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than ten years previously, and an estimated 50% 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.”

The issue arrive at newsstands May 4. Vangardist has also created a Facebook page, HIV Heroes, and together with the hashtag #HIVHeroes, is hoping to foster renewed online support and discussion. Vangardist originally launched in 2009 as a digital-only publication. The 2015 edition of Life Ball, Europe’s largest AIDS charity event, will take place May 16.

[H/T: New York Daily News]