An Austrian men’s magazine has printed its latest edition using blood from people who are HIV-positive in order to counter the “stigma” often attached to the virus that causes AIDS, its chief editor said Tuesday.
“We wanted to make a statement against the stigma and the irrational fears (about)… HIV and HIV-positive people,” Julian Wiehl, founder and editor-in-chief of Vangardist magazine, told AFP.
“If you hold this magazine in your hands it is like holding somebody who is HIV positive. Nothing can happen, nothing can harm you holding the magazine, and nothing can harm you holding an HIV-positive person,” he said.
Vangardist is usually published only digitally, but the “#HIVHeroes” edition is in hard copy, printed using blood donated by three people who are HIV-positive and mixed with normal ink.
Three thousand copies of the bilingual German-English special edition can be ordered online for 50 euros ($55.65) each, with all proceeds going to charity. A further 15,000 normal copies are also available.
One of the three donors is Wiltrut Stefanek, 45, diagnosed as HIV-positive 20 years ago and who runs PULSHIV, a Viennese group for people with HIV/AIDS and their families.
“I want to make people understand that in day-to-day dealings with it, HIV poses no risk to anyone,” the magazine quotes her as saying.