This Incredible Magazine Is Printed With The Blood Of HIV+ People

Photo: Courtesy of Vangardist.
The new special issue of Vangardist magazine is exactly what it says on the cover: "Printed with the blood of HIV+ people." It's also an attempt to explore the stigma associated with being HIV positive. And, the progressive German men's publication has already made a big impression.

Vangardist timed the special issue so it would coincide with this month's Life Ball (a giant charity event benefitting those affected by AIDS and HIV) and teamed up with Saatchi & Saatchi to create it. All 3,000 print copies were created with ink infused with a small amount of blood donated by three HIV-positive people. And, yes, the magazine is 100% safe to handle. (It was made "using processes developed according to guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck University, ensuring that the handling of a physical copy of the magazines carries no risk of infection," according to the Saatchi & Saatchi press release.)

The Vangardist issue reminds us of the work of artist Barton Beneš. Back in the '90s, he used his own HIV-positive blood to create a series called "Lethal Weapons," which explored similar themes of stigma and perceived danger. This magazine comes at a particularly important time in the U.S., as Indiana continues to struggle with a devastating HIV outbreak. It's another potent reminder of the need to embrace strategies that can actually save lives — despite stigma.
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