SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An Austrian magazine printed using the blood from three HIV-positive donors went on sale Tuesday to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Some three thousand special edition copies of ‘Vangardist’ are on sale for $55.65 (50 euros) each, and all proceeds go to charity. The magazine’s chief editor said he hopes the #HIVHeroes magazines will help raise awareness and de-stigmatize the virus that causes AIDS.

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“We wanted to make a statement against the stigma and the irrational fears (about)… HIV and HIV-positive people,” said editor-in-chief Julien Wiehl according to Agence France Presse.

“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.


The printing ink was mixed with the blood of the donors and then sterilized, or autoclaved, to deactivate the virus, making it 100% safe, according to the magazine’s website. The blood was retested to ensure no viruses were present.

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A safety disclaimer reads:

There is no possibility for any physical damage through the magazine. In order to prevent psychological damage the magazine has been packed in a sealed wrapper to give any third party the chance to decide by themselves to touch the magazine. In order to avoid to shock any third party please keep the magazine in the resealable wrapper.

One of the donors, 45-year-old Wiltrut Stefanek was diagnosed as HIV positive 20 years ago.

She told Vangardist, “I want to make people understand that in day-to-day dealings with it, HIV poses no risk to anyone.”

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